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This Is the Time
This Is the Time
...with apologies to Billy Joel.
People who can take music at face value are fortunate. They will never be tortured by the constant searching for a meaning. They will be able to survive quite nicely with only air, water, and food. They will not have to take a punch defending a musical principle.
Those of us who suffer with the affliction taking it all "oh, so" seriously lead a pained existence. We suffer largely in silence, and there is likely no one who will listen if we reach out. The subjectivity of music appreciation, as is all art, is as volatile as talking about politics or religion.
This entry isn't really about that sort of weakness, but one can save that for deep background.
In Joel's little-known 1985 record, The Bridge, "This Is the Time" is a work performed from the point of view of a man who is standing at the threshold of middle age and discovers the meaning of love as only our age group can understand.
I suppose one could characterize it as a coming-of-age song for the 40-something set.
It's difficult for many to fathom that learning continues until death. Whereas "coming-of-age" may be easily surplanted by revelation and/or epiphany, the lessons have equal impact.
I'm having my fair share of revelations of late. The last few months have taught me some valuable lessons. The key thing to note here, although I am sure I'll never receive total enlightenment, is that some of the secrets or life and love can be unlocked.
The keys to love (love also being volatile in subjectivity) canned be summed up in one simple concept:
Know your limitations.
I'll use myself as an example.
Despite the facts that I'm not hideous in appearance and of above average intelligence (both commonly and academically), I am shy to the point of criminal vulgarity. One can imagine at how inhibitions drop on one's own side of the computer keyboard. That's why writing is my outlet - again...not a main theme here - to sociability.
I can fantasize, like any male of the species, about sex with thirty-seven 18-year old women all at the same time and satisfying them over and over and over again. I can fantasize about being sought after by the rich and famous for love in the spiritual sense. I can fantasize about dragging a woman into a hayloft and giving her a lifetime of fulfillment.
Perhaps there are guys who can do that, but I cannot. I couldn't do it in my prime, and I'll never be able to do it in my remaining years.
Basically, it's the applied reality theory of "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head."
If you can do any of those things, good for you - and take pictures.
I'll admire in awe, but I'll not want to be you. I'll applaud your performance, but I'll not want to be you. I'll read about you in The Times, but I'll not want to be you.
An epiphany is an awakening.
I am awakening to the reality of my age and the depth of my limitations. I sincerely believe that if more men sought out and faced their own limitations, there would be much more love (as opposed to gratuitous debauchery) in a civilization that desperately needs it.
1/31/2006 1:14 pm
WOW..... How thoughtful and perceptive in so many ways.. |
As a fellow 45-year-old, I can really appreciate the whole
post. I too, am learning my limitations, and constantly fighting
to be aware of them, but not focus on them.
After all as I have learned, while I can in NO way handle the bevy of 18 year-olds, I can hold my own in a lot of less outrageous situations. And the wonderful thing is that those situations are so much more fun and satisfying than the extremes anyway. I never would have believed that 25 years ago, of course, and that's another beautiful aspect of knowing you limitations - recognizing that they exist and maximizing the enjoyment within those limits rather than pining for something more.