Arc

febblog jackson browne

Somebody once wrote that the quickest path to disillusion is to fall in love. It may seem strange to someone who is in the so-called honeymoon stage of a relationship. But for someone who is going through a crisis in a relationship,  nothing could be more true.  Consider Jackson Browne’s articulate musings set to music in “In the Shape of a Heart,”

“There was a hole left in the wall

From some ancient fight

About the size of a fist

Or something thrown that had missed

And there were other holes as well

In the house where our nights fell

Far too many to repair

In the time that we were there

People speak of love don’t know what they’re thinking of

Wait around for the one who fits like a glove

Speak in terms of belief and belonging

Try to fit some name to their longing”

While this may be the case given the sad statistics that tend to cast doubts on the notion of happy ever after, thankfully, every now and then, we do come across relationships whose arc offers a glimmer of hope. And we are not talking about the movies  here albeit the arc of these relationships  might as well be remembered by  songs that are almost cinematic in terms of their depth and breadth.

febblog coldplay

“Til Kingdom Come” (Coldplay)

This hidden track from Coldplay’s X&Y album and centerpiece of The Amazing Spiderman OST does justice to the thoughts and feelings of someone who is totally smitten for the first time. You are fine and yet you are not fine. You are restless  and yet you are rested. You are centered and yet you are wasted.  All you know is you love her and that is all that matters. You can afford to wait  til kingdom come.

“I don’t know which way I’m going

I don’t know which way I’ve come

Hold my head inside your hands

I need someone who understands

I need someone, someone who hears

For you, I’ve waited all  these years

For you, I’d wait til kingdom come

Until my day, my day is done.”

febblog sting

“Fields of Gold” (Sting)

But wait there’s more. Cloud nine awaits with the discovery that you have not wandered into a one-way street.  She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah! Mutual promises of commitment and attendant pledges of devotion are effortlessly made. Eternity is hereby  invoked. The future is easily claimed. Nothing could possibly  go wrong. Worse comes to worst, it’s you and your beloved against the world. You complete each other after all. So it’s relatively easy if not natural to visualize a future where you hold hands as you walk through fields of gold even as…

“You’ll remember me when the west wind moves

Upon the fields of barley

You can tell the sun in his jealous sky

When we walked in fields of gold

So she took her love

For to gaze awhile

Upon the fields of barley

In his arms she fell as her hair came down

Among the fields of gold”

febblog dmb

“The Space Between” (Dave Matthews Band)

And then something interesting, make that disturbing,  happens along the way. You both realize that “men are, indeed, from Mars and women are from Venus.”  You are two different individuals raised in two distinct and different homes with different sets of value systems.  Disagreements set in. Conflicts arise.  Difficulties and problems come from all directions. A third party complicates things. Bad influences abound. Molehills become mountains. And just like that, the future suddenly looks dim and bleak. How in the world did we get here? Is there a way out?

“These fickle, fuddled words confuse me

Like, will it rain today?

Waste the hours with talking, talking

These twisted games we’re playing

We’re strange allies with warring hearts

What a wild-eyed beast you’ll be

The space between the wicked lies we tell

And hope to keep safe from the pain”

febblog u2 one

“One” (U2)

Fortunately, along the way, through the confluence of events or  the influence of others or the grace of self-reflection or all of the above,  one of you and eventually, both of you grow up by  coming to the realization that it’s alright to be one and two at the same time. The difference is what ultimately makes the difference. Awareness leads to acceptance and acceptance to adaptability. Problems are eventually uncovered as  disguised opportunities. Stumbling blocks become stepping stones.  Indeed, all is grace.

“One love

One life

When it’s one need

In the night

One love…

We get to share it

Leaves you baby if you

Don’t care for it…

We’re one, but we’re not the same

We get to

Carry each other

Carry each other

One…”

febblog peter gabriel

“In Your Eyes” (Peter Gabriel)

As you come full circle, you get a glimpse of something far better than the first time you fell head over feet in love with your beloved.  This time around, you  can now  truly say that this so-called “woman from Venus” is indeed the love of your life, the ultimate gift from up above, the yin to your yang, the day to your night.  In sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, til death do you part. These vows can actually happen in the end but only  through a lot of hard work coupled with tons of faith. Doing a John Cusack in Say Anything is optional.

“In your eyes

The light the heat

In your eyes

I am complete

In your eyes

I see the doorway to a thousand churches

In your eyes

The resolution of all the fruitless searches”

febblog jenny warnes

“Song of Bernadette” (Jennifer Warnes)

Easier said than done?  I agree which is why the arc of relationships that defy the odds ultimately grounds itself in The “Thee.”  The existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel offers a very astute and well-meaning  recommendation if we wish to refute Jackson Browne’s assertion: “I hope in Thee for us.”  The hope that Marcel is referring to here is not the empirical kind.  Meaning, there is no proof that there is something to be hopeful about. Neither does it have an objective. That is to say, there is essentially nothing specific  being hoped for.  The hope that he wrote about is a kind of hope that addresses itself to the fount, the ground and the norm of all love, God Himself. It is a humble  admission and an all-out acknowledgment that without God, all human love will always fall short, celebrity couples included. Hence, Jennifer Warnes’ invitation to hold her beloved like Bernadette Soubirous would do.

“There was a child named Bernadette

I heard the story long ago

She saw the queen of heaven once

And kept the vision in her soul

No one believed what she had seen

No one believed what she heard

But there were sorrows to be healed

And mercy, mercy in this world…

…So many hearts I find, broke like yours and mine

Torn by what we’ve done and can’t undo

I just want to hold you, won’t you let me hold you

Like Bernadette would do.”

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