I only recently discovered Spotify. A few months ago actually. It's not that I didn't know about it so perhaps discover is the wrong word. My husband subscribes. As does my kids. And so I knew about it and listened to it through them and they talked about me getting it for quite a while but I didn't. I had cd's that my youngest daughter had made for me and that I listened to in my car when I was not listening to the silence of my drive - the music I prefer. And at home, I don't often think about putting music on. As when I drive, I like the silence.
But then I started to plan my trip across the country around the same time that I was going through this painful and also quite beautiful stripping away of many things that no longer served me in that deep way that happens when the me that is truly me started to come through and so the layers that stood between this me and the world needed to fall away.
And I needed music for this shedding.
And so I turned to Spotify and started to create my playlist. It is called Favorites and I thought it was going to be my only list. But then it got big and I got more comfortable with how this all works and started other lists, too. My Dance list, my Joni Mitchell list and Miley list and Jasmine Thompson list and Suzanne Vega list. My Simon and Garfunkel list and my Covers. One of the songs on my Jasmine Thompson list is Mad World. One of the songs in my Covers playlist is Adam Lambert singing Mad World. I also have Mad World on my Favorites list, sung by Gary Jules. So I've got this song in three places. I obviously like it.
So last week, on Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday - for three days in a row - every time I got in my car and turned on my music and clicked on Favorites - where the Gary Jules version lives - and then on shuffle which means that my songs should come out to me different each time, Mad World was the song that came out first. Every time.
The first few times I smiled that smile that celebrates the beauty of coincidence because I believe there is no such thing. So I smiled and laughed a bit because the song was so appropriate for this moment in time. And then, when it kept happening, when this beautiful song kept showing up again and again and again, I started listening again to the words - which I knew to sing along to but did not truly know. I listened to the lyrics and I listened to the Jasmine version and the Adam version, too, and then I went on YouTube to listen to other covers to experience this beautiful song through the many different interpretations of melody and mood.
And I sat in it. The song. I took in its lyrics and tones and let the music fill me. The sadness in me and the love in me and the hope in me, too. And I realized that this song is the song of the shedding for me of this moment in time just as my playlists that I created over the summer were my soundtrack for my trek across the country. Mad World became about this world, the one we are all in right now. The one that is, well...somewhat mad.
I am not surprised that we are where we are, in this land that I live in. We have been here for a long time. We just didn't know it. I wrote about something like this last year, almost to the day, here on this blog. I wrote about the crying of humanity and the sorrow of our planet and ourselves. It was a broader writing. A writing for all the earth. But it holds true when I bring it home to just us here in our own land.
I am not surprised that there is sadness and pain, anger and hate in our country. Though I am a bit surprised that we - as in the collective we - are surprised by this. That we think we are immune to this. That the tragedies and dissatisfactions, the trauma and sorrow that we saw from afar - on other lands off other shores - could not touch us here. But it has. It is. We are in it now because we see it now. But we have really been in it for quite some time before now. We just didn't know. Well, some of us did. Those that felt the pain and dissatisfaction, the struggles and the hurt. But a lot of us, we didn't know. We missed the clues, were removed from the truth.
And so we needed something big so we could see this. We needed a wake up to what is happening all around us. We needed an upset to our lives so we could see the upset in our lives. And we got it. Finally.
We got the trigger that will shift us in this, an election that has shocked us. On both sides of it. Whether on the side that won or the one that did not, we are all a bit surprised, I think, that we are where we are. And now the question is, what do we do.
For me, this question must be brought home to what do I do? - because that is really all I can do. I cannot control anything else than what my own actions will be and what my own responses will be to the actions and the reactions that happen around me.
So what am I doing?
I am sitting in each day as each day comes and being really honest in myself. I am carefully choosing my words while speaking with an open heart. I am learning all that I can from those that have different opinions than mine and holding close friends from both sides of each issue. I am reading and thinking and watching and learning. I am not jumping to conclusions and when I find myself triggered I am exploring this to see if the triggers are a truth or rather an opportunity to move in a different direction.
And I am taking in the beautfy of each day. The exquisite, and surprisingly still warm, fall New England Days as I ready myself for my trip back to my west coast home. I am feeling the sun on my skin and the crackle of leaves under my feet. I am thanking each gift of each day and each person that I am blessed to have in my life. I am embracing this Mad World.
I invite you to listen with me.
The original by Tears For Fears is good. Rob Fadini's version is one of my favorites.