stuff I wished I knew a long time ago

If I had heard these statements when I was younger there’s no guarantee I would have listened or remembered so that may be why it took me this long to understand. If any of these become Facebook memes give me author credit, thanks.

Everything is temporary, life is temporary. Even when something feels excruciating and seems to stretch to forever it really doesn’t. I try to remember this at stoplights.

Most of the things we agonize over are really minor. Their importance is concentrated in that moment but when seen from a decent enough distance that importance fades. It even looks ludicrous. This one came to me in yoga class when I couldn’t do the vine in a bent warrior 2 pose. Also occurred again today after my alma mater lost their first game this season, ending their unbeaten streak. It sucked but there’s no real damage.

Most people who feel they will die of a broken heart do not. This is because it is impossible to feel that level of pain and agony indefinitely. You can be utterly miserable but life will eventually intrude and take your mind away from what is torturing you. You will have to get up and go to the bathroom at some point, your body will wear itself out and you will sleep if only for a short time. Life in the form of other people, your job, school or responsibility will force you up, your cat will demand to be fed. It may make you angry, feeling so miserable ought to get you out of dealing with people, with life, you only want to live with the pain and be left alone in your hurt. But this interruption is really mercy in disguise. It will not look or feel like mercy, mercy is letting you suffer til you die, not this. But to continue this feeling takes a lot more energy and determination than most people are capable of generating. Of course a truly stubborn person can sustain this for longer periods but even then you slip a little. Maybe fatigue sets in, maybe realizing you can’t change events that have already happened no matter what you do now sinks in.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you like what has happened, or that you agree with a decision. It means you acknowledge it, don’t lie to yourself or deny the truth. It means a thing, an event, a state of being is. You don’t let yourself get twisted in “what if” and wonder if you could have done something differently, that way leads to madness and frustration. Perhaps it wouldn’t have changed anything, no matter what you might have done differently it is too late. Harsh, but sometimes you have to be hard on yourself just to keep going. I wish I learned this one a long time ago,  it would have saved me so much guilt. I was raised to make nice, to apologize when I wasn’t sorry or it wasn’t my fault, and forced to say a horrible thing was actually good when I knew better, like a bad perm.

Acceptance can be instant. I accepted that  Jerry was gone, I saw and touched him after he died. I stood watching the paramedics try in vain to bring him back to life but I knew it was already too late. Yet there were aftershocks, being reminded in weird and unexpected ways that he was really gone. Acceptance may be instant but still be an on-going process.

This song scared me. It was eerie, too much like what happened that morning I found him, when he wouldn’t wake up. I’m still stunned at how it seems like someone had watched me, watched us and just wrote what happened.  I hadn’t been able to listen to it again until now.

 

 

 

Advertisements

somewhere

I was frustrated and went for a short walk tonight. I had to get out of the house, felt like I had to move because I’ve been eating too many protein bars and felt dull. Something that I’ve known for awhile made itself known again tonight, with force. I love Depeche Mode, I have since I was in high school and Dave’s voice, touched by God, has seared itself into me. Jerry wasn’t a big DM fan, the only song he knew was Just Can’t Get Enough, an early Vince Clarke pop number. I didn’t know this until after we were married and I won’t say it would have changed things but I’m not saying it wouldn’t but it’s a little late for that.  I listened to my DM playlist while I walked, hit shuffle and shuffled myself.

First song up was Halo, the Goldfrapp version from the Sounds of the Universe tour. Something perfect happened; the combination of the music, the red leaves on the trees, the cool almost cold air and my fragile mood all blended. I was alone out there and let myself cry.

When our worlds they fall apart

When the walls come tumbling in

Though we may deserve it

It will be worth it

DM, rather Dave Gahan has an extraordinary effect on me. I understand the power of music to create or even force a mood, to provoke memories, to annoy and to give strength and comfort. That’s what Dave and his voice do for me. I listen to Dave sing and I become strong, I feel good, I feel acceptance, empathy, comfort. I feel energy and strength being poured into me. I feel like I am capable of doing anything, of achieving something worthwhile and being a person of consequence and power. Dave makes me feel like I’m a badass.

It doesn’t matter what era. I love Puppy Dave from the early 80’s, whose voice was still immature but beautiful, a hint of what was to come. Dave from the late 80’s, when DM hit it big and he was at his most gorgeous, after his unfortunate blond period. His voice still had softness at the edge, still open and innocent. Then the dark days, the 90’s and Dave during his heroin period, when he was skinny, sick and had long hair. He looked good with long hair. Ironically he was at his peak and his voice was like beautiful polished stones. Despite his body falling apart he sounded great and even sick and addicted he was still Dave. Dave was still in there, the addiction was terrible and strong but he was stronger. He was Dave Fuckin’ Gahan and no one could deny he lived through those words. After Dave got clean he was older, he was a grown-up but he still had the power and intensity inside, it came out rolling in waves of melody and a deeper sound. His voice was deeper, the puppy softness had long gone and there was some strain in his voice. What looked effortless now took some work. Twenty first century Dave, in his 40’s and now 50’s is amazing. He’s still performing, still can hold the notes and work an audience like nobody else 30 years later. He’s officially middle-aged, he wears suits and looks more like a movie star than a rock star. But he is still Dave and he never lets you forget it. He’s no nostalgia act even though he’s still singing songs Martin wrote over 20 years ago but they still sound fresh. It’s almost like a conversation, memories shared between friends, bittersweet and triumphant, over what was, what happened, what didn’t, and that we managed to live through it, to somehow survive only Lord knows how. Or why. It’s resilience and regret, pulled into a beautiful, delicate and sharp edged ornament.

Dave’s voice sunk into my heart, my ears and emotions a long time ago. I liked DM, like Martin, liked Vince and liked Alan, different as they were they were pure DM. I even like Fletch, I remember when he seemed to be important to the band, I like Christian and Peter, who are still technically hired hands but to most younger fans they are members of DM too. I can see them that way but DM is still Dave, Martin and Fletch far as I’m concerned. The band changed over 30 years, that’s putting it lightly. Dave changed, I changed and from a vantage point I can see that we both survived some hard painful times, our own tragedies, dealt with being parents and along the way we somehow became adults, real functioning adults. That Dave is a rock star and I’m obviously not, that we’re total strangers doesn’t make a difference.  Dave understands, empathizes and he doesn’t judge. And I’m healed, at least for awhile. Behold the phases of Dave.

adorable puppy Dave, Vince Clarke era

Rock Star, late 80’s, perfection

Heroin addict, mid 90’s, listen to that voice

Rock God or Oh My Lord, early 2000’s

Soulsavers Dave, this week. Still in awe

Jerry’s favorite DM song as it was back in the day