I saw two friends last week, though actually, it has been two weeks. I went back east and had a chance to reconnect with two very rare souls, then came home and got sick. I am better now and so began to flesh out a piece I began on the plane ride back to California.
I saw two friends last week. Many years passed since I had time with either of them. They did not know one another, though they had met in days gone by. They didn’t remember, but I did.
I joke with my children that everyone has a super power. They say mine is reading, but I wonder… maybe it’s remembering. It’s not a matter of intelligence, God, no; it’s just that social situations resonate for me. Everyone who has ever met me is rolling their eyes in agreement right now- I’m like… social. Super power is too strong and narcissistic a term, though perhaps it gives you an idea of what I mean. Conversations that sparkle, instants captured, moments held; they all exist inside my head. As a book is like a film to me, so too, there exists my own movie; it is my life playing in my head. People far away, but never truly lost because I have them with me on a track I can repeat again and again.
We are born alone and so we end, by ourselves once more. Yet in the intervening time, however long that may be, we each, in our own way, seek to reach out. We strive for connection, understanding and companionship. The best of art, literature and politics are played out when that connection is achieved. It may come in the form of bright, brittle social interaction, forgotten like a may fly in the summer air as we move on to the next encounter. We might find it on a sexual level, heady with a shattering power forged in sweat and shared passion. There are the friendships, those platonic, those romantic and a few which are mixed of both. Some even endure, long beyond the initial connection, becoming lifelong touchstones we return to, brothers and sisters, finding in them our best and truest sense of self. Likewise, the failure to connect, to establish those bonds which sustain us results in some of the worst of humanity: the murders, the bombings, the sadists.
This week’s song for Musical Monday is an old one; 1992, in fact. It’s called “Man of Golden Words” by Mother Love Bone. It seems another lifetime when a good friend played this for me, set the song on repeat and we saw the night through.
Of all the ways we find to connect, music has certainly been an important conduit for me. Verses and the lyrical poetry hidden within operate on multiple levels, bringing about a closeness with those whose souls are similarly moved. A long past memory can become more real than the mundane closeness of present day given the right notes played at an unexpected moment. That is the power of song.
I love you, my friends- you shape my life in the most profound ways and, thus, help and change me along my path. Miss you already!
Lyrics to Man of Golden Words
Wanna show you something like
The joy inside my heart
Seems I’ve been living in the temple of the dog
Where would I live, if I were a man of golden words?
And would I live, at all?
Words and music, my only tools
And on her arrival, I will set free the birds
It’s a pretty time of year, when the mountains sing out loud
Tell me, Mr. Golden Words, how’s about the world?
Tell me can you tell me at all? yeah
Words and music, my only tools
Let’s fall in love with music
The driving force of our livings
The only international language
Divine glory, the expression
The knees bow, the tongue confesses
The lord of lords, the king of kings
The king of kings
Words and music – my only tools
This post was written by Erika Gardner. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog. Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.