“…As I try to make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive.”
The original version of this lyrical masterpiece, performed by Duran Duran, made such an impression on my 8-year-old self at first listen that I vowed in that moment that I would write, I would paint, I would sketch, I would do something, anything, to be able to move someone the way that I was moved, to make other loners like me feel with a few words and haunting melodies that they we are all alone, together. That we could find a place in this strange world, and maybe even earn a glimpse into a more ordinary world. This cover from Cary Brothers re-awakened the feeling that had grown numb over many years, re-igniting my zeal to subtly, beautifully, delicately set the world on fire.
“Yes, I can live today, if you give me tomorrow.”
Fleetwood Mac is indisputably one of the most iconic bands in music history, a history that’s most notable (for some) due to their inclusion of vocalist Stevie Nicks. But there is another female vocalist in the band who is quite the unsung hero, having penned and sung some of their most touching ballads. Christine McVie, along with having a voice that sounds like wind whispering through the trees, sings in such a way that she simultaneously breaks your heart and makes you fall in love. On this particular song, not only are the sounds of the guitar flawless, and the group harmonies sublime, but Christine’s voice and the incredible emotional transparency and vulnerability of the lyrics are the perfect marriage. Listening to this song, every single time I listen, is to feel joy, wistfulness, hope, lose and renewal. There is such a love that makes the misery of today worth it, if only to live long enough for the companionship to be found later, as Christine’s McVie’s voice makes you believe in that love.
“I may not be an orphan, but I came up alone…”
There is no feeling in life comparable to being lonely even when you are surrounded by others. The feeling of unimportance and insignificance has no equal and, at the time, seems to have no remedy. But, thankful, life gives nearly everyone the ooportunity for friendship, and friends are the family that you chose.
“What would you do,
If it all came back to you,
Each crest of each wave,
Bright as lightning?
What would you say,
If you had to leave today,
Leave everything behind,
Even though for once you’re shining?”
“I’m waking up; I feel it in my bones……Welcome to the New Age.”
Sometimes, nostalgia comes forth as a by-product of missing something. Others times, we miss someone. But it is also possible to be nostalgic for a state of being. Right now, I really, really miss the days when following the advice in this song seemed like an attainable goal.
“God, that was strange to see you again.
Introduced by a friend of a friend.
Smiled and said ‘Yes I think we’ve met before’…”
It’s so strange, how past loves can creep into our minds without warning. Sometimes, you can love someone so much that you simultaneously hope to see and to never see them again, your bruised heart foolishly wanting the former, your head being intelligent enough to fear the latter.