Everything About It

It starts with a rhythm that sounds like a heartbeat. And warm, round chords that swirl around the slow pulsing. It talks about trying to write a song and escaping into the imagination for ideas.

And then the details come. Describing life in snapshots, interchanging eloquent and perfectly simple words.  Golden clouds shuffling the sunshine, a birthday party, frost creeping over a pond.

Honestly, I canʼt always tell what Paul Simon means in his songs, but I like the challenge of trying to solve the puzzle. Heʼs much smarter than me. But if I pay attention I know what his songs mean to me, and thatʼs enough.

This one seems a bit easier to understand than others, but the more I listen, the deeper it feels.  Everything about it is a love song – a line from the song, and itʼs title.  If you listen to the rest, it’s clear (to me) he’s saying every bit of life is a wondrous thing.  Sad, happy, emotional, deep, full of pain and joy and lovely detail.  Like a love song.  The mundane, the special moments, the fact that we screw up and have to say we’re sorry – added up and jumbled together itʼs a beautiful mess. When you get outside of yourself and look at living from a distance, you can see the big picture.

It reminds me of the movie Gravity.  George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are stranded in space, and the view of the earth that director Alfonso Cuaron digitally creates is breathtaking. Watching it, I wished I could do that.  Not be stranded, but see our planet and the cosmos from that vantage point. From there you see the broad strokes of color, darkness and light, swirls of clouds that cover whole continents. You see mathematical accuracy, the structure of atoms, the Periodic Table of Elements, the laws of physics played out with brilliance before you.  Added together, equaling Earth. The picture made when millions of details combine to make a whole.  You see your smallness.  And instead of it being scary or making life seem insignificant, it leaves you speechless, in happy awe.  Because your’e witnessing a moving, living piece of art.  Like something created with purposeful hands.  Like a love song.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the song begins with a heartbeat.  The sound of life pulsing beneath the chords of the guitar.  Paul Simon gets up close and examines the trees, steps away and sees the forest, and can somehow express them both in his lyrics.  What a gift.  I’m thankful for this song, reminding me of the work of art laid out before me each day.

And everything about it is a love song.

Everything about it.

Everything about it is a love song.

Everything about it.

Everything about it is a love song.

 

2 Replies to “Everything About It”

  1. Great post, Jenea– such a good reminder to be thankful for all that we have graciously been given, of the “work of art laid out before me each day”, as you said. This was one post I needed to read, as I listen to my 17-month-old screaming upstairs, refusing to take her nap. I don’t like the screaming, but I am thankful to have a baby who can scream. And so, as my body twitches with her every yelp, I guess I can sort of see the love song in it. Better this than a house of quiet loneliness.

    I did wonder about this phrase that keeps popping up in my life, a “beautiful mess.” I certainly understand the mess part, and am trying to see the “beautiful” part and so I get what it means. At the same time, though, I did wonder briefly if this idea of a beautiful mess is just a new way of ignoring our own sinfulness. Are we covering over our mess with the word “beautiful” so as to not have to deal with WHY we are so messy? Or am I taking this too far? Thoughts?

    1. Aimee, first of all, thanks for liking what I write. 🙂 It’s good to know that it resonates with people. We seem to have a bit of the same mind, you and me. Many times what I write is a reminder to myself of how to look at life – being thankful for an able-to-scream screaming baby is a good example. It’s not often I would see the love song in that either, until later, looking back. It’s hard to see it in the moment! I think for any of us to realize it at all is GREAT, and then inching closer and closer to actually appreciating life as it happens is the goal. That’s mine anyway. I’m so far from there.

      My thoughts on the beautiful mess thing are this: I gotta say, I totally agree with the sin thing. The world is jacked up in so many sad, sad ways because of it. Mistakes, cruelty, injustice, heartbreak. They fill this place sometimes. But, in this post anyway, I’m talking about the mess of getting involved in life, and in seeing things we normally see as bad as good. Just a perspective flip. You know, I took the Strengths Finder test from the Gallup organization once, and one of the strengths it said I have was “Developer”. That means I liked helping people develop the strengths I see in them – finding them and building on them. (At least that’s how I remember the definition of it.) There was another strength called “Restorative” or something like that, which Marc has. That type of person is good at seeing what’s wrong with a situation and finding a solution (video editor – yep, he’s good at it). I would argue sometimes he’s SUPER good at seeing what’s wrong with something, and maybe not as great at the last part, but… 🙂 The point is, it takes both types in this world to make things better (which is maybe why we make a feisty but good couple). But maybe as a “Developer” I tend to point to the good. The things in every day of our lives that we may look past in a rush or because we’re seeing only the inconvenient, frustrating, even downright crappy parts of living. I don’t disagree they’re there. I see them too, but I guess I naturally aim to see the lovely things. The things I can build on. The beauty amidst and surrounding the mess. And sometimes the mess is beautiful in itself if I look at it from above, or below, or from the side – whatever direction is new to me. Like the baby crying. Like the love song. 🙂

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