Thursday, November 11, 2004

find a happy place...

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out, it doesn’t matter much to me. Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to strawberry fields. Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.

In high school I was Beatles obsessed. Aside from CCM, “Oldies” seemed to be the acceptable source of musical fulfillment within my Christian Clique. Having destroyed all of my albums from the 80s rock and new wave of my childhood, as well as the hair bands and rap groups of my junior high years (in an effort to grow spiritually as a new Christian without distractions and negative influences), this singular secular outlet for my music addiction was definitely a guilty pleasure. Many of my friends grabbed these great compilations that came out our Senior year, known as the Red album (early stuff) and the Blue album (latter stuff). I loved those albums, and my friends graciously copied them onto tapes for me, but they were too expensive for me to own at the time. Working part-time at CD Warehouse post-college (and pumping all of my pay back into the company), I finally came across used copies of both compilations ($5 each on my employee discount ~ I really miss that job).

This music is still a happy place for me ~ it was my secret connection to protest and frustration hidden in a pretty little package of nostalgia. Nostalgia, longing for a better time in the midst of stress and disillusionment, was also a theme of much of this music. The Blue album contains the song Strawberry Fields, in which John Lennon longs to escape to a simpler time of hanging out with childhood friends in the gardens of a Salvation Army orphanage near their home. He had heavy ideas weighing on his brain, and heavy pressures weighing on his life, and he was remembering a time when life was just about enjoying the moment.

When we realize how complex life in this world really is, we often feel overwhelmed and long for the time before we really knew what kinds of evils and stressors exist. Sometimes expressing the complexities is enough to release some of the pressure, through writing, music, art, or even conversation. Sometimes we turn to escapism instead, through gluttony, depression, drugs, or even suicide. But sometimes we realize that no matter how big the complexities of this life may be our God is bigger. …And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micha 6:8) Sometimes we realize that God is enough, and that we can’t do it all, and at least for one day we should just let it be.

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