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Sunday, September 25, 2005

HOW WILL WE FEEL 20 YEARS FROM NOW?

Last night I was chatting with a friend about the power of music artists and their lyrics on our lives. He is more into Stevie Nicks than I am into Babs. Yes, it is true.

So, we talked a great deal about reigning High and Spinning Priestess of Rock. I opened up about how I've always been touched by her work. Without question, those Stevie lyrics are quite often beyond what one would describe as "cryptic" so I've always known that my interpretation of her lyrics is all about what I bring to them at any stage in my life. He agreed, but he actually knew what many of the lyrics had meant to the writer.

He explained the real meaning behind one of my top 3 favorite songs of all time, "Sara" ---- Suddenly those particular lyrics which had always seemed so mysterious and sensual made total sense to me. A meditation on an unborn child. Hmmm... Now, that song will always have its own personal meaning for me, but it will also now carry a new one -- and, somehow, there is even more hope and strength added to the lyric.


I wrote yesterday's post about why, perhaps, happiness remains so elusive for so many of us --- I was wishing I had the guts to share this thought on a more personal level with someone in my life who has somehow gained a special place of importance in my heart. Someone with whom I feel a very strong connection, but don't know why. I'm also not quite sure why my normal up-front/honest personality seems to retreat when I try to bring up a topic of gravity beyond the arts or day-to-day routine of life.

As I was chatting with my friend I mentioned how much I had loved Stevie Nicks' solo LP, "Rock A Little" when it had first come out. I was fresh out of high school, just about to start my "adventures" in college and trying to figure out myself and why I could not seem to stay away from drugs. It was an important album for me as I began the on-going journey of knowing myself and won the battle against the evils of addiction.

However, over the years, that importance has been eclipsed by the hopelessly dated production of the album. I mean, we are talking 1980's Drum Machine and Synth Hell! As any true blue fan would, he disagreed and pointed out that some of her mose lovely prose came from this album. I told him that I still listen to "Talk to Me" and "I Can't Wait" but cringe as my ears adjust to a stylistic sound for which I never much cared. It is the melody and the lyric that matter to me so I deal with the sappy production values.

Very late last night I pulled out this very CD and played it as I wrote out a few thoughts in my journal. As I was writing, the opening track started to blare out --- the echo effects, the drum machines, the faux-rock-n-roll guitar riffs and those distinctive synth sounds that get us thru "I Can't Wait" ...I was humming along and then the track came to that portion where Ms. Nicks stops singing and speaks --- "How will we feel 20 years from now?" ---- with the producers tweaking that to echo and various speed effect.

Then it struck me that this recording was almost exactly 20 years old. The song and album that played a fairly crucial role in my life was now asking a question that I could answer.

How do I feel 20 years later?

From a big picture perspective I am feeling pretty damn good! The last 20 years have been good to me. I've not needed to lean on those illegal chemicals for well over 18 years. And, sure, nothing is easy. I've lost friends to death, distance and petty disagreements, I've lost my father and my dear grandmother, aunts and uncle. I've seen my baby brother grow into a complex and gifted adult artiste, my mother and I have been working toward an understanding of each other, I've known lovers who I can no longer really remember and others who hold wonderful places in my memory, I fell into a career which brought me both joy and dispair, I've fallen into a love which allowed me to learn so much about who I was during the time we shared, and when that love turned out not to be for "forever" I learned even more about myself. I came out stronger, but even a bit more confused about some of life's bigger questions. More than a year later, I know what I want and am working to achieve it. And, of course, I could never imagine that I would find myself living in such a fragile, dangerous and scary world. Perhaps it always was, but since the unbelievable tragedies of 9/11 I think our western collective view of the world and our own place in it has been shaken to the very core.

But, it is 20 years later. I feel good, but there is so much more I want and need to experience. Work has taken a significantly different place in my priorities. Friendship and love have taken a more urgent and important place for me. In fact, I've never appreciated the value of my friends' love more than in these past 16 months. And, never have I been so sure of how much I value the importance of sharing life's experiences with one person. And, if I've learned one thing as I've moved into "middle age" it is you don't get much if you fail to ask for it or put energy and focus into what it is you desire/want. You have to be strong. You have to fight. You have to care about others and you can't hide in fear.

You have to keep moving forward with kindness and respect. To borrow a line or concept from John Irving -- you've got to keep passing those open windows, but try all the doors. You can't just walk past those door without turning the knobs and taking a peak.

So, now --- 20 years later, I find Stevie Nicks' question even more powerful than ever before.

"How will we feel 20 years from now?"

---- echoing into a plethora of echo, drum and synth effect, that question pounds into my brain. I wish I knew the answer now. Don't we all?

9 Comments:

Blogger Miss Marisol said...

Oh, the wise and touching words of Stevie Nicks. (I was more of a 'Leather and Lace' gal). Twenty years from now...I hope the time between now and then goes veeerrry slowwwly because twenty years ago from now seems like yesterday.

That John Irving line about passing open windows...was that Hotel New Hampshire? I am having such a de ja vu trying to remember that line!

6:10 AM  
Blogger matty said...

Miss Marisol -- Yeah, thus far I would say that "Bella Donna" has been her finest solo moment. Don't you think Waylon Jennings and his then wife were annoyed that they turned "Leather and Lace" down as she wrote it for them!!?!? LOL!

And, thank you! I could not remember from which book that came, but yes --- that concept or line comes from "Hotel New Hampshire" --- couldn't remember for the life of me!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

How wonderful it is to realize how truly lucky we all are, under the stars... Life is a journey, and we are but a distant road.

Cheers Matt!!! A toast to another 20 years!!!!

10:06 AM  
Blogger g8s said...

Ah, 'Rock A Little' wasn't that bad, Matt, and I think 'Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You' actually holds up fairly well. Inspired by your post, I've dug through my vinyl & taken it for a spin today. I remember thinking about that line, "How will we feel twenty years from now?", when I first heard it and wondering exactly where I'd be. I couldn't have imagined. And twenty years from now? I think it's better not to know.

wv: jufcoz

12:25 PM  
Blogger Underling said...

Okay, I don't think I'm really qualified to post a comment on this post as I'm sadly ignorant of Ms. Nicks works save the greatest hits of Fleetwood Mac...

However, I like the idea of the question "How will we feel 20 years from now?" I've been thinking a lot about how I felt 10 years ago since I read this post. (sorry Matt...but 20 years ago I was 7...and I have no real memory of that time)...But I think myself at 17 would have a hard time believing the man I am at 27.

So...you managed to really make me think with this one....

8:30 AM  
Blogger adrock2xander said...

Heya Matty...

i just read that 'Body Blooper on the Bus' post...you nearly killed me...hilarious...

9:18 AM  
Blogger Dessie said...

Hey 20 years ago I was 7 too... I think Underling's copying me :p

All I can remember of that age was, will I always enjoy the company of men more than women?

Evidently, yes I did :D

10:47 PM  
Blogger matty said...

Robert -- I agree. Every day we continue to make it on the journey is another day of success and being blessed!

g8s -- Emotionally, I know you're right. It is better not to know. ...but, I still wish I could know. Ah, the mystery of life! I don't know. I do enjoy "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You" when she performs it live, but I seldom listen to it on CD or anything. I remeber being surprised to find out it was written for Joe Walsh after he lost his daughter. Are lost children a hidden theme in the music of Stevie?1!??

adrockxander --- LOL! One never knows what one might encounter on public transit! ...other than I know I will usually be the one who encounters it.

Underling & Aaron -- You are two babes in the wood! Sigh. But, Underling --- become more aware of Ms. Nicks! ...Particularly the 1981 to 1983 works! They are awesome!

7:13 AM  
Blogger joe said...

wow, that is such a great post. you write beautifully, and with such honestly, it hurts. what you said about the value of friends and not hiding in fear, it's so true. 20 years from now, I want to still read words of wisdom from Matt's Bit of Space. :)

9:51 PM  

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