Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Gaslight Anthem: Clothing or Baring the Soul

Sometimes, fu** the good old days. Looking backwards makes it tough to walk forward. And I am one to tell stories, the good stories of where we've been, as much as any other. But you can't live there. And trying to negates where you are, where you are going. Which might be nowhere.

The Gaslight Anthem is the band I can't stop listening to at present. They are not new, but they are becoming my soundtrack for the spring and summer. I play them on the back deck with a beer, cooking or doing dishes in the kitchen. Or as a shuffled playlist on a run. And this is a line that stuck in my head as my Saucony's pounded the pavement:

And God help the man who says, "if you'd have known me when..."
Old haunts are for forgotten ghosts

And that sets me off. I never want to get to the point in my life where all I have are stories, where the past was more than the present. Where I was more interesting, funnier, faster, and can't find something to be, something offer, something to become, something to be, now. I don't want life to be a series of photo albums, scrap books, articles, memories. Not just those things. Even into old age, if I get there, I want to be a grandfather, or just an old druid/dude, who people want to hear what I have to say; be at ball games and drinking coffee with the sunrise; still writing as relevantly as W.S. Merwin; still going for bike rides or hikes; still going to concerts; still trying to do something in the garden; still sipping a Dale's Pale Ale in the evening; embracing the differences that life gives you over time.

Obviously we don't control everything, how we age, what happens to us (we have some control there), and I am not sure I am aging, or will age gracefully, I fight that clock as best I can, just by having fun and trying to enjoy what is in front of me. I hope I can continue doing that.

Change, like shit, happens. And that isn't always a bad thing. I think we all know people, we all have friends we love, who are still the exact same person they were 20 years ago. And as much fun as I had 20 years ago, it seems like being in that same place would get old. So here is the next Gaslight thought that hit me during the same run:

But the clothes I wore just don't fit my soul anymore.
No the clothes I wore just don't fit my soul anymore.

Different song. But the thread continued in my head. The soul grows, changes, doesn't fit into the same ways or clothes it did. That's not to say your soul is getting fat. Though a fat soul sounds jolly in its own right. But I don't think that's what is going on there. I think in how I see the soul evolving, it becomes more clear and more stated as you get to know it. It starts to bare itself. Maybe the soul doesn't need the clothes you used to put on it to conceal it, to keep it covered.

Maybe the soul needs to be naked. Maybe life is a striptease for the soul, until we get to that point in the dance where we are comfortable enough to bare our souls. And once we do that, who wants to put soul clothes back on?

So here's to looking forward. To not saying, if you'd have known me when. Of being worth knowing now. Carpe the diem. And here is to bare, naked souls. Leave your soul clothes at the door.

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