in the sun

i first heard this song several years after it was recorded by michael stipe and chris martin for a hurricane katrina benefit. the first few notes made me look up from my solitaire game to see what it was (how i loved the satellite radio for that feature!). the sun was shining over the sea of cortez, yet i was playing cards at the kitchen table. because that’s what i do when i’m there. i’m outside all the time at home, so having the luxury of staying inside is my kind of vacation! after those few notes, michael stipe began singing “i picture you in the sun, wondering what went wrong. and falling down on your knees, asking for sympathy. and being caught in between all you wish for and all you’ve seen. and trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in.”

the poignancy of those lyrics and of that melody brought my new old friend to mind. i blame facebook for our reconnection, actually, for our connection, because we weren’t friends as children, but we did grow up in the same town, went to the same schools. but i was a nerd and he was, well, not one.  but for some reason he wrote me, asked me how i was, said he remembered me clearly. i wrote back. and then he wrote back, and it just didn’t stop. until it did.

anyway, my friend was living a life without passion, without connection, without all he wished for. and no hope for change because he wouldn’t ask for it. he put himself last, which is certainly admirable, but only to a point. and that point is somewhere well before you break your own heart.

i know that many with religious leanings will see this song in that way, especially because of the line “may god’s love be with you, always.” but i hear it less literally… i hear that line as a “farewell, my friend.” and “i wish you well.” and “i’m with you even though i’m not.” even the line “cause if i find, if i find my own way, how much will i find you” can have religious undertones, but again, because i’m not religious (to the point of almost being anti-religious, because of the hypocrites), i see it as a symbol of spiritual connection. a soul mate thing, perhaps. and when i say soul mate, i don’t mean it at all in a romantic fashion. perhaps soul friend, or soul partner, is a better description. the point is when you find someone who points you back to yourself, who reminds you of who you are, who proves to you you’re not crazy to want that in a friendship, well, that’s golden. that’s sunshine and light.

as often happens, my friendship ended. and it was painful. but i learned so much. about me and the kind of friend i am. i am not a casual friend. i can be social, even friendly, but if i see something in you that makes me want to know you, i will ask you about yourself until you beg me to stop. it doesn’t happen often that i meet someone who’ll allow themselves to be subjected to my interrogation or who i want to know, which is okay, because it’s exhausting. but when it does, it’s such a gift.

i hated this song for awhile, after the friendship ended. i hated what it brought to mind… but in time i learned to cope with the unknown, and with self-doubt. and with anger and forgiveness. and best of all, i learned to love this song again.

i wrote this because of a prompt from my friend at “from the bungalow.”  i’m trying to figure out this blogging thing as i go along, and i don’t even know how to tag you, bungalow, so please forgive me… thank you for giving me the inspiration.

(thank you, running from hell with el, for the tagging lesson… hopefully, i won’t have to ask you again!)

 

 

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35 thoughts on “in the sun

  1. Love this. You are a gifted writer among so many of you other talents. I am proud to know ya. ♥

  2. StableHands says:

    Congratulations on your first blog. The first time is always the hardest. Looking forward to reading more.

  3. Awesome post. I really enjoyed reading this.

  4. kantal113 says:

    Incredible first post! So glad you wrote it. 🙂

  5. kantal113 says:

    Also, I had to search a bit to figure out who the original artist was. I knew I had heard it before, but it sounded different. It’s originally by a guy names Joseph Arthur. It’s a great song. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Chris says:

    This is so beautiful in so many ways. I’m so glad you wrote this as your first post, and I’m honored that my challenge played some role in that. Truly.

    the point is when you find someone who points you back to yourself, who reminds you of who you are, who proves to you you’re not crazy to want that in a friendship, well, that’s golden. that’s sunshine and light.

    I kind of want this on a plaque in my home. Well done.

  7. Tina says:

    Really great writing my friend – i enjoyed greatly!

  8. Chris says:

    Reblogged this on … from the bungalow and commented:
    Last week I posed a writing challenge to all of you with the intention of encouraging meaningful, personal writing, and I am thrilled with the turn-out. There were so many good posts, and I was introduced to a few new songs. There were also two people who were on the verge of starting a blog and made this their first post. I feel really honored to be a part of that!

    While I enjoyed all of the posts, there were two that really stood out to me. But I said I’d reblog my favorite one today, so I had to choose. (Honorable mention goes to Daddy Knows Less! And visit this link for a full list of all 15 linked posts.) For one blogger, not only was this her first post, but she nailed it. She personally related to her song choice so well and offered interpretation, but the real tie breaker was that she had one of the most poignant lines (to me) out of all of the posts. (Visit her blog and read the comments section to find out which line that was!)

    Introducing… 50 sense blog. Thank you to everyone who participated! Now what should I do for my next challenge?…

  9. […] Reblogged from 50senseblog: […]

  10. Chris says:

    Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing! Truly enjoyed reading it..

  11. Fabulous post and so glad you are a part of the blogosphere now!

  12. You bring up so many profound thoughts here. You have caused me to think about my own connections & friendships, as well as what kind of friend I am to others. I hope my friends would say that I “point them back to themselves,” (so lovely, I might add) … I certainly can think of the few gems in my life who do that for me.

    You are eloquent and deep. I thank “From the Bungalow” for inspiring you to share this powerful insight.

  13. This is your first post ever?!?!

    Well done.

    Amazing.

  14. I really enjoyed this post .. and the song. 🙂

    This:

    it doesn’t happen often that i meet someone who’ll allow themselves to be subjected to my interrogation or who i want to know, which is okay, because it’s exhausting.

    made me chuckle .. I am often telling my best friend that she exhausts me, but in a good way. Isn’t it wonderful when you do meet someone that you want to know? It is rare and it amazes me still when it happens to me.

    I loved what you said about hating the song, then working through it all and being able to come back it. Very well put.

  15. Gayle says:

    Dammit. I really do not need any help crying these days. I’m always on the edge of some sort of tears (be it happy or sad) it seems. This is an amazing post and the song is moving… in a good I hate it kind of way. What a clear sense of your spirit it gives me.

    Totally touched,
    ~the mess

  16. […] **50SenseBlog hit a home run with the blog post.  The song she’s writing about moved me to tears. I’m heading to download it right now (seriously.) […]

  17. […] **50SenseBlog hit a home run with this blog post.  The song she’s writing about moved me to tears. I’m heading to download it right now (seriously.) […]

  18. […] **50SenseBlog hit a home run with this blog post.  The song she’s writing about moved me to tears. I’m heading to download it right now (seriously.) […]

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