Thursday, May 17, 2012

Simple Song

The Shins

I've never had a song written about me. It's one of those things I silently desire but when faced with the reality of my life, I'm not putting my money on the compliment. One of the best compliments I have however received was from D, saying I inspired him. I hold that compliment in place of the poetry my untold song lyrics paint. It is D's poetry. His way is more subtle than stanzas and I tend to digest it in the silence of my thoughts later. 

Tonight he came home talking about the Gotye song again. It has been in his head for at least a week now since we watched the Somebody That I Used To Know video and I showed him the video of the cover by Walk Off the Earth. I can't tell you how many times we watched it (I forgot about how cool music videos can be). D gets something in his head and puts it on repeat for hours...days; he likes to study it to no end. When he walked in today, he was telling me how he listened to the radio all day and they played the Gotye a lot. I already knew that because I am the last person on the planet that still likes listening to the radio on a daily basis. He mentioned another song that he really liked that was being played a lot too. I knew it was Simple Song by the Shins. Once I called it up on itunes, it was there in our life playing a special concert for us as his head nodded yes to my music identification. 

We went back and forth about the lyrics, about the meaning and music as we ate dinner and bathed miss M. D contends that it is an almost perfect song, a masterpiece that might live through the ages. Later, he went downstairs while I went up to work. As I climbed the stairs I heard him in his office watching the Shins' video. I had to check it out too and find their NYC concert I watched a few weeks ago on NPR. I found this acoustic version of James Mercer singing the song in his studio and have had it on repeat the entire night.


You sure must be strong
and you feel like an ocean made warm by the sun

I contend that the song is about love, about discovering another soul aligned with yours and letting them lift you out of your wallow. It's about fantasizing the good stuff, risking your heart, and making a connection. Just this afternoon I was thinking about how all we really have in this life is whole-heartedly sharing our experiences with those we hold close, even if sometimes it means we find unrequited love. I've come to welcome the bleeding (if I don't take the heartbreak too seriously) as much as the laughter for how alive it can make me feel. After listening to the song for hours on end, I contend it is about how our silent desires can fuel the most powerful experiences we live. It's about how our presence is what really brings people joy.

In so many ways the song feels like home. I do think it will be a piece of art to be enjoyed for years to come. Somewhere in the repeat waves of lyrics, I realized I have no clue what someone would write about me in a song. I would take this song in heartbeat but I'm sure it is someone else's tune. Instead, I'll take the evening, the familiarity of my love, and his inquisitiveness, which inspires me.

Love's such a delicate thing that we we do,
with nothing to prove,
which I never knew.

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