lately I’ve been noticing how easily I cry when the conditions are right. I noticed this yesterday when I was listening to “Heroes” by David Bowie, the live version, the last recording. It’s on YouTube and the reason I don’t leave the link is the song probably won’t work for you the way it does for me. But I bet you have a song, a film, a picture, a favorite experience that brings tears, a sense of universal sadness that is so part of life.
Why this song? Is it the lyrics? In part I suppose, but no, not really. The beat? Tempo? That wall of sound avalanche that Eno the producer was so fond of using as a color palette? Is it seeing an artist who was so influential, a cultural giant in his own right, now fading slowly, ill, and in effect, saying his goodbyes. I’m struggling with this growing awareness that Gautama was right and life is really, in a deeper sense, the art of saying goodbye from the moment of conception onward.
Am I seeing ghosts of my own life and patterns? And coming to that strange realization that no matter what I’m doing, what I’m working on, or how important I think it is, it will end. Knowing that and reinforcing that places a different perspective on all I do and experience. It’s insanely valuable from the perspective that I am and will not be.
I don’t know, for sure, but perhaps it’s really shades of all of the above. I do know the song, the visuals, and the ambiance are overwhelming.
I am attracted to this version of crying when it happens.
It’s a different kind of tears, a release, an opening, a widening of the entire “system called Bryan” opening up, and transparently singing the most primal of primal songs.
It’s not always a sound that reminds me of where and how I am. It could be the dawn, a person, or sometimes a memory, a place, or a thing from past or present. No matter what this self expression is, I am deeply grateful for the ability to cry in response to specific moods and themes. How beautiful.
It’s true Bryan, there are songs that can touch us in ways that no others can. They bring memories to mind of people, places and special times and, often, just simple happy times and some not so happy. My older brother, who’s no longer with us, was always singing and there are many songs that bring him to mind: Elvis’s Wooden Heart, which bro would put on the juke box on childhood holidays; the Animals House of the Rising Sun which he’d sing at parties; Rod Stewart’s Sailing bring back pictures in my mind of bro in his Royal Navy uniform and, most of all, the bagpipes in Mull of Kintyre – this always reduces me to tears and memories of our childhood in Scotland.
I know what you mean about Heroes with David Bowie. He’s one of my all-time favourites. I love how that particular song builds up to a climax and then breaks off with the gentlest of endings.
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Exactly so my friend. I find it fascinating that we have that reaction. I think it’s also important to sing and listen to your own songs in ways that may not be musical bur still sing of self expression. Take care of you, my friend.
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