After some recent drama, many trials and tribulations and plain sickness for almost three decades, I get the feeling I’m slowly, but steadily and insistently coming home to myself. I can’t pinpoint that feeling to any specific events or visible landmarks pertaining to my life, but the feeling is pronounced and vivid. Consistent with this course of personal development, I feel attracted to the arts – and most prominently music – again. As for music: It was my first and deepest love so far, something innocent, untampered with by the forces that tossed me into dismay and despair for much of my adult life, something pure and indestructible I have always turned to when in need of shelter, comfort, peace of mind. It has been such a helpful force in my life almost from the beginning that I even remember sitting on the backseat of my parents’ car at age three, crouched down at the bottom, hiding from my sister and parents, and softly singing along with the radio when something was on that touched me.
Even then the feeling of being connected with something larger than me was strong, clear and unmistakeable and if there has ever been anything I really wanted in my life, it was to express myself through music.
During my teenage and adolescent years, music became an even more significant refuge. This morning, after waking up from a very sweet dream, I suddenly remembered a song from that time by a band, who could be called my musical heroes at that time: US progressive Rock act Kansas. My attempt to share the song I’ll be introducing shortly failed due to Apple’s former and restrictive Digital Rights Management, which claims my computer isn’t authorized to play a song I originally purchased from the iTunes Music Store. Well, I won’t go further into how incensing that is, for that would be a different story. Let’s just say they’ve realized for themselves that restricting people in using rightfully purchased material isn’t too brilliant an idea (and yes, I’m aware of the implications pertaining to major music labels and companies, but hey – different story altogether).
So, back on the subject at hand: I then went ahead to look for the song I meant to share on Youtube – and found it here. In said teenage years, I admired Kansas for their creativity, clever arrangements, skillful realization of their material and artistic dexterity and candor. Although I never got to see them live then – as they were probably not touring Europe or I didn’t have the means to go there or whatever – I always imagined them as a brilliant live act as well. Plus, their instrumentation and setup was original and different to the stereotypical Rock band “cast” of four or five, with a rhythm section and one or two lead singers and/or instruments.
The song “Reason to be” – which I above linked to on Youtube – deeply resonates with that current feeling and state of mind. To me, the lyrics encompass just about everything there is to see, feel, smell, in short – experience for us as human beings. And then towards the end of our lives, we hopefully get to the point of seeing it all come full circle and making our peace with ourselves, our life, the relationships that were part of it, before inevitably letting go of it all. On a different note, the song also seems to be about finding one’s true destination in life.
In that spirit, take a listen, if you will, and follow the lyrics I take the liberty of sharing below:
Reason To Be (Kansas, Closet Chronicles)
So long someone is waiting
I got places to go, I got things to see
No more procrastinating, for this is the moment that was meant for me
And I’m moving like a wave on the ocean
drifting to the opposite side
Travelling with no destination
Just riding the tide
People they say that I’m foolish
they say that I’m living in a fantasy
But I say, everything’s easy
it’s better than living in futility
So I’m standing here in back of the curtain
waiting for the start of the show
acting like an actor is easy
if you can let go
Some day, something will find you
a magical feeling you could not foresee
a feeling so devastating
from that moment on your life’s a comedy
And suddenly you’re light as a feather
you’re falling like a leaf from a tree
the things you thought you needed are fading
your reason to be
your reason to be… (till fade)