Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crikey's Sunrise Lesson

A little over two months ago, I was sad.  Very, very sad.  A dear friend of mine had just experienced a terrible loss and, though there was still a couple degrees of separation, it broke my heart. 

Today, I am angry.  There has been so much loss, lately. War, natural disasters.  Loss of loved ones - relationships ending, lives ending. In the post "The Comings and the Goings", I touched on how it's all part of the great circle of Life - transition and all.  Also about how, when it hits close to home, even the most philosophical among us want to "call bullshit".

There's a part of me that wishes cancer could be a corporeal being.  So I could beat it with my bare hands and kill it.  So I could put on a red dress, with sparkly red shoes and dance on its grave.

Today, I was angry.  It's one of those magical moments in Life - when you're given the opportunity to see things a little differently.

Today is the Summer Solstice, Litha, in the Pagan community.  Longest Day of the Year.  I am sure that, for certain members of my family, that last description is way too accurate.  However, for me, it brought some peace of mind.

I live pretty far up north.  This means that, even on a regular day, the sun comes up really early.  The "'O' stands for 'O my God it's early!'"-early. 

By pure chance, this morning I woke at '0'430.  The sun hadn't risen, but it was light outside.  For years, I'd been trying to wake up early enough to watch the sun rise on the Summer Solstice...but...

Yeah.  430 sucks.

I got up and made coffee.  Out of cream, I hopped into the car to zip to 7-11.  Not willing to go even that mile and half without my tunes, clicked on my iPod.

The song "Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)" started.  The first time I heard it was during the end credits for the movie Charlie Bartlett - and they kicked me in the head then.  It has since become a bit more popular (Franklin and Bash is using it in their trailer commercial), which I like, though I hope it doesn't go the way of the Cranberries' "Dreams" - phenomenal song, but overused to the point of being overlooked, lyrically.

This is going to be one of my shorter posts - not because I don't have much to say, but because there's just no way to say it well.  So I'll let them do the hard work...

Hey Man (Now You're Really Living), by The Eels

Do you know what it's like to fall on the floor,
Cry your guts out 'til you got no more?
Hey man, now you're really living.

Have you ever made love to a beautiful girl (guy),
Made you feel like it's not such a bad world (Life)?
Hey man, now you're really living.

Now you're really giving it everything
And you're really getting all you gave
Now you're really living what this Life is all about.

Well, I just saw the sun rise over the hill.
Never used to give me much of a thrill,
But, hey man, now I'm really living.

Do you know what it's like to care too much
'Bout someone that you're never gonna' get to touch?
Hey man, now you're really living.

Have you ever sat down in the fresh cut grass
Thought about the moment and when it will pass?
Hey man, now you're really living.

Now what would you say if I told you that
Everyone thinks you're a crazy old cat?
Hey man, now you're really living.

Naturally, there is a bunch of repetition (chorus, the first verse)...I didn't see much point in having you re-read most of that, though I do like how it underlines the point being made.  The song ends with the lines that I always thought were the most promising, most important. 

"I just saw the sun rise over the hill - never used to give me much of a thrill - but hey man, now I'm really living!!"  (their emphasis)

For those of you who have been to my house, you understand when I say that there's not much point in watching the sunrise from my back deck.  For those who've not done so - there is a big, BIG wall of trees blocking the view to the east.  I thought I'd be up for the principle of being up when the sun was rising - it's the best I could do, right?

On the drive to 7-11, actually got to see the sunrise...to be specific, I can actually say that, as I drove, as I saw the horizon, the sun rose just in time, not only for me to see it, but to do so in perfect time for the line:

"I just saw the sun rise over the hill"

And, sunrises never did give me much of a thrill.  Pretty, beautiful sometimes, but not thrilling. 

Today, against all reason, the simplicity of a sunrise did lift my spirits.  It made me think of lives well spent, well loved. 

The sunrise can't bring back what or who has been lost, but it can remind us that Life is for living, for celebrating, for rejoicing in what we've been able to experience and the people who were (and are) on that ride with us.

By rising every day, no matter what, it isn't mocking our pain, or undervaluing it.  It's carrying on for us.  It's moving things along for us while we're too overwhelmed and grief stricken to think about anything else.  It's there to tell us, when we are ready to get up and move again, it will still be there. 

In the time it's taken me to write this, the boys have gotten out of bed.  I love writing, but it's excruciatingly hard for me to write when there are people milling around me.  For the past several paragraphs, Crikey has come out and interrupted me by kissing me every few minutes.  Each time, my frustration increased. 

Then I realized that, as usual, Crikey gets the point better than I do.  While it's right and good to acknowledge loss and to work through it (each in our own way - writing for me), as he used to put it, "I gots utha things ta do"...and my allotted time for thinking "about the moment and when it will pass", has passed. 

I'll part then by saying, Aunt Sheryl, while I'm happy that you're no longer suffering, I will miss you.  More importantly, though, I'll think about you, and when I do, I'll think of what a great mother, grandmother and aunt you were (and are).

PS:  here's the video.  I just watched it for the first time this morning.  Initially, I wasn't sure if it was the official video (despite the intro - it is You Tube, after all), but after viewing it, I didn't care.  It's perfect.  Even the ad, if you're made to watch it (it only came up once for me) fits.