tmbt: a sad song to unite us
I was walking down the last flight of stairs from my apartment this morning when the thump and rumble of music I had heard from higher up suddenly came into audial focus. It was a country song. It was a sad country song about lost love. It was a sad lost love country song roaring from Apt #3, a basement-level studio who inherited a new tenant about two weeks ago. It was surprising, and somehow so beautiful… in that deep, aching-heart, “oh, the humanity” sort of way.
This tenant, on first meeting, looked much like the man who had rented that little studio before him; long haired, a little scruffy, heavy-set, and possessing those lonely sort of eyes that are so easily mistaken for that of a thief – shifty and afraid, but keen and with a deep ability to love just underneath the iris. I would have, and in fact I think I did, take him for a metal-head. This morning, coming out of my fog into the presence of that sad song he had blaring, all my little stereotypes and assumptions crumbled. Here was a very-grown man sitting inside a little basement studio listening to a sad love lost country song on a Sunday morning. I was dumbstruck.
Then the point of my confusion hit me full-force; maybe we are all this heartbroken. Maybe we are all this sad and lonely. Maybe we are all walking, talking, and mostly smiling all inside a sad love lost country song. For some of us, it’s a song of the past we can’t get out of our heads. For those of us who aren’t quite so trapped inside it, it’s more like deep down we know that the tables could turn at any moment so we live inside that song whose melody we don’t quite know yet. We live there just so that we won’t be caught too off guard when the station finally picks it up. It’s a long and winding metaphor, I know. But it is also literal. There is a reason why a really good sad song can out-sell and out-last even the sweetest upbeat ditty. We are sad.
I had an astrologer friend tell me once that I was here to understand suffering and that the sooner I realized that, the sooner I’d be free to also fully experience joy and love. The more I ruminate in her words and reflect on my experience, the more I realize how inseparable the two seem to be. The deeper and more immediate my experience of suffering, the more room I have to experience great joy, compassion, love. I still don’t have it all ironed out yet, though. I do know that this morning in the presence of that sad love lost country song coming from Apt #3, I felt a deep deep welling up of compassion. I knew that if he experienced those songs like I experience those songs, then his heart must be a mighty deep well and I loved him for his humanness, his fragile caring nature, his penetrable beauty.