Song Reflections: Peter Bradley Adams “Family Name”

History is important to us.  We all want to know and understand where we come from — where our roots are.  It gives us a sense of grounding, a sense of trust.  “Rest your heart on the family name/ And we’ll find our way back home”  We may not always know who we are or where we come from, we may not like or we may have been hurt by the places or families of our origin.  No matter, regardless of how far you strayed — you do have roots, you do have a history, people and places that spawned you.  And to be reminded that we can trace those threads and go back to, or re-discover, who we are.

I don’t know about you, but I find it very comforting.

Song Reflections: Harrod & Funck “Hand Draws Flowers”

A sense of beauty, mystery and fragility co-exist in this gorgeous song full of soaring, yearning melodies and intricate guitar arrangements.  Singing about a loved one — immersing deeply in the sentiments of the moment, only to come to the realization that “soon you will be gone.”   All relationships are temporary, and it’s up to us to take these moments in, make the most of it.  Relationships are fragile, too.  Not to dwell on fear, but when you experience such beauty, you have to be all present to receive it fully.

Song Reflections: Copeland “Chin Up”

This is a song about keeping up a front, a pretense.  I’m not saying that’s something we shouldn’t do.  I’m glad we all do it, as I wouldn’t be able to handle everybody’s raw stuff all the time… but it does take a great effort, to keep up the social grace.

It takes a great deal of energy to pretend, and to keep a secret.  I really believe that a person who doesn’t need to keep anything hidden is a happy one.  I’m getting more used to opening up, having less to hide.  That being said, though, I still think the public/private divide exists, because we do want to approach it a certain way, to create the kind of impact or interaction that’s inline with our values.

But for a lot of us, that public/private divide exists because of fear.  Fear that we have to hide some parts, that they are not acceptable, that if others could see them you will not be OK.  That’s when it becomes draining, and fragile.  That’s really not a problem we can solve quickly, so while we walk toward that state of having nothing to hide, on the way we just have to take a break and recharge, so we can go back to facing the world.   Maybe next time we’ll do it less from fear, and more from love.

Song Reflections: Pet Shop Boys “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk”

We’ve all been in that dysfunctional, unstable relationships.  One where you’re tip-toeing around the other person wondering, “is this working out? Is he what I perceive himto be?  Am I safe here?”  And you’re tossed about like a leaf on a stormy sea, with every flip-flop of the other party’s whims sending you spiraling down in every which direction.  Is it me or is he just in a bad mood?  All the wondering and straining, trying to figure out what’s going on inside somebody else’s head.  It’s taxing and stressful.  Some people give up and choose to be alone instead.

To look at it on a positive way, my perception is that being drunk is more revealing than concealing of truths.  Pretending takes more finesse and control, and you have less of those resources when you’re compromised from substance.   So the good news may be that he loves you, but then the question is — how often is he drunk?  Which person are you with more?  If he shows his affection to you only when he’s drunk, then you may be temped to keep him drunk more often — but I’m sure there are downsides to that.

Sadly, as much as we’d like to think that we are consistent, same person all the time, in truth we are not.  I am a different person when I’m in a bad mood.  I will not be the same when I have had 2 hours of sleep the night before or a raging headache or digestive problems.  It’s a bit like everybody has a very minor form of multiple personality disorder.  The grumpy me may not remember what a happy me feels like, how he thinks about things, how he treats other people.  The same is true on the receiving end, too.  Your perceptions and assessment of other people are colored by your own past experience, fears, and stories.  It’s hard to see everything clearly, all the time.

So it’s a dynamic, ever-changing landscape, this thing called relationship.  There are best practices, of course, but some of it just comes from accepting it for what it is.  This song is a bittersweet reminder of the changing nature of a relationship.  It may not offer solutions or ray of hope — but it’s nice to know, that someone other than myself knows what it’s really like.