Wednesday, March 31, 2010

10 Things

Carrie over at 2 Girls 2 Dogs 2 Cats posted a "10 Things" list, so I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon. I always enjoy reading these ... and I actually really enjoy writing them as well :-) Consider yourself tagged, if you want to make your own "10 Things" list ... leave a link to your blog in the comments.

I was going to just make a list of 10 random things, but I decided instead to list songs that make me think about things. It seems more interesting than "1. I have two dogs; 2. My favorite foods are cheeseburgers, lobster, and pizza" and so on. Not that I would have anyway, but ...

1. "My Own Worst Enemy" (Lit)
I've come to the conclusion that it is human nature to be your own worst enemy. Colleen McCullough ends The Thorn Birds, "The bird with a thorn in its breast, it follows an immutable law; it is driven by it knows not what to impale itself, and die singing. At the very instant the thorn enters there is no awareness in it of the dying to come; it simply sings and sings until there is not the life left to utter another note. But we, when we put the thorns in our breasts, we know. We understand. And still we do it. Still we do it." That says it all. (And, of course, there are many times I want to say, "Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk?")

2. "Forgiven" (Alanis Morissette)
The concept of forgiveness is one I have long struggled with. Perhaps it's because of my Catholic upbringing, perhaps it's because I have much to atone for. I ponder sometimes on if forgiveness is even possible. I mean, no matter how much good you do, the bad is always there. There's nothing you can do about it, and there will always be a part of you that is being consumed by guilt ... and people to throw it in your face when you're least expecting it. Life is strange that way.

3. "Another Brick in the Wall" (Pink Floyd)
It's funny, the more we as a society claim to be moving toward creating individuals and embracing the unique characteristics everyone brings to the game, the more this song rings true. I find myself all the time conforming and doing things I don't necessarily want to do and saying things I disagree with because it's just easier than trying to be true to myself and having to deal with the consequences of that. I think that, back when there was a standard pat expectation of people, they were more likely to rise above it (or go to either side of it); now, there is this constant state of unspoken conformity that is all the worse because we try to say that the converse is true. It's strange. (Note--I think my iPod has a great sense of humor since this song seems to shuffle on more than any other just as I'm driving into the parking lot of the school I work at ;-)).

4. "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (Patti Smyth/Don Henley)
You can love somebody to pieces and have them tell you that they feel the same way (and definitely have them act like they love you), but at some point you just have to realize that you're in different places. Books and movies might say otherwise, but "sometimes love just ain't enough."

5. "Tick Tock" (Ke$ha)
It's funny how time gets away from you. I am thirty-three, not exactly old, but my partying days are unquestionably behind me. I kind of wish this song had come out fifteen years ago, because I really like it. I could totally have related to it in my heyday. That said, it makes me very nervous because I worry about my daughters and about my students in terms of the sentiments raised here. I also question the veracity of a society where a song like this is so widespread; I mean, Belle knows the chorus to this song (thanks so much, Addie), and I'm pretty strict with my kids.

6. "The Boxer" (Simon and Garfunkel)
If you were to look at my high school yearbook, the quote I chose to accompany my senior picture is, "In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade, and he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame, 'I am leaving, I am leaving' but the fighter still remains." We are all in a fight with life, in a way. We are all going to get brought to our knees sometimes. We are all going to have times when we rise triumphant. And, ultimately, we are all going to lose.

7. "Yellow Ledbetter" (Pearl Jam)
There is something about a song with lyrics that are almost impossible to understand. It makes you listen a little harder, makes you pay a bit more attention. And to continue the boxing metaphor from number six, "I don't know whether I'm the boxer or the bag" is a sentiment I think we can all relate to in some way, shape, or form.

8. "Imagine" (John Lennon)
I spend much of my life dreaming, a great deal of time hoping. There is so much evil in the world, and there's just no need of it. I mean, we all bleed, we all hurt, we all smile. It would be so nice if everyone could just get on the same page and look at the big picture.

9. "What's my Age Again?" (Blink 182)
There isn't an adult alive that doesn't, at times, act like a five-year-old. It's kind of unfortunate, but it's pretty much human nature to be selfish and stupid sometimes. This song is so much fun (Am I the only person that yells, "I said I was the cops and your husband's in jail--this state looks down on sodomy" when this comes on?), but there's actually a lot to think about here even though, on the surface, it's kind of a fun and sort of dumb song.

10. "The City of New Orleans" (Arlo Guthrie)
Okay, confession time--I cannot hear this song without crying like a baby. It was one of my stepdad's favorites, and I can hear his voice singing it (hopelessly off-tune, natch) whenever the song is even mentioned. The cyclical nature of virtually everything, the rise and fall of empires and trains ... it's mind-blowing. Just mind-blowing.