July 25, 2008
why deny the obvious?
Maybe, to really understand the words, there has to be something sacred to you. Something to which you are accountable. Or maybe you just need to be ready to really hear. I don't know.
Once upon a time, I was a good catholic boy and God was sacred to me. Forever ago in another world I still had the smell of incense in my nostrils. The faint chime of the eucharistic bell as the monstrance was raised still rang familiar to my ears when I was struggling with the seatbelt in the back of Saathi Rajan's car, waiting to pick up another member of our posse on a freezing cold Saturday night in January. It was so fucking cold, and Saathi's leather seats seemed smooth and rejecting as I huddled there and discussed music with this man who was far too familiar to me who I didn't want to trust.
And he really wanted to play for me this one song. He knew I'd "get it" straight away. To him, it was the greatest of songs. Paul Simon's new album had only just been released, back then, and he was excited about it and wanted me to hear it. I wish I could say I enjoyed the song at the time, but all I could think of was the cold and that I hated drums and the intro was thus way too long and annoying.
Ironically - when you hear it, you'll understand - I faked my enjoyment. We might even have been parked next to the basketball courts at Kits High School as well. It's impossible to be sure.
I'd only been in Canada for three months and I could lead a rosary but I didn't recognize symbols - maybe they were too close, then - and so the meaning of the words escaped me. My life was still compartments, and the real reason I distrusted Saathi (I understand now) was that he wanted to know too much about me too soon, and I wasn't ready for someone else to understand me better than I understood myself. I hadn't even noticed the comma in the title, thought the cross was some kind of baseball reference. All I knew was that the drums in the intro went on for way too long and were annoying.
There's something I'm trying to say, but I can't. I want to tell you why this song speaks to me in a way that it didn't when I was lying about my own reactions to a stranger and believed in the sacredness of things. I listen and I feel admonished and comforted at the same time and I want to make you understand and yet at the same time I don't.
Because there's really nothing to explain. It's obvious.
Posted by daruma at July 25, 2008 1:07 PM | (464 Words)