Have a seat. Sit back. Press play and let the music slip through your skin and into your mind. That yearning you feel from the melody, that longing for love, for answers, for peace? You are not alone. Doesn’t make it any easier though, huh? Sure it’s nice to know that out there in the world there are others like you, but does it ease the pain, the sadness?
How many nights as a teenager did you find yourself gliding through the wee hours in your parents’ car? One o’clock in the morning and you’d just dropped off your sweetheart. After an hour of heavy petting in a nearby cul de sac, playing out the roles of man and woman you think you’re supposed to be, she slams the car door shut, goes inside and turns off the porch light. That’s when you found yourself cruising the empty neon streets of your hometown, searching the airwaves for something nocturnal, something classic. Something like The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin.” Not the truncated single version, but the seven-minute album cut that included the full orchestra coda and poem reading. For a half hour or so you drove around thinking about the future.
A quick right and suddenly you were out of the light and on the darkened backstreets of the subdivisions. Large homes with secrets. So many secrets. Then it’s onward to home where you sneak into though house, climb the creaky stairs and slip into bed.
Jump ahead and it’s 20 years later. Life is good. You have a wife who completes you, children you would die for, a house, a good job. Despite some setbacks, circumstances beyond your control, you should be happy. Yet, here you are, still yearning, searching for answers, fighting back self-doubt and tears on a regular basis.
Something is missing. A spark. The drive that makes you who you are. Can you change; can you become a new person? Are we destined to relive the same mistakes over and over again? Or maybe we do learn and opt not to do anything about it because after so many years changing doesn’t matter. We are left to a life of navel gazing and continually posing questions but never seeking answers.
Listen now, a clarinet plays four simple notes and you’re reminded of your parents. Each day you start to see more of them in you. You look like them and you start to exhibit many of the same characteristics they have. Time is flying by and all of the dreams and ambitions you had are slowly slipping away. You’re not sure there’s anything you can do about it.
Yet deep down, you have hope. Deep down you still feel that change is possible. Deep down you know you can be a better person and that despite your shortcomings there is time. You can still inspire your children to follow their dreams and to be a better person than you are. You can still decide what is right and what is an illusion. The fears, the self doubts, they’re the illusion. The love you carry for your family, that is right.
Outside, the night sky is full of stars and the moon shines down upon your quiet home. While the family sleeps you really should go off to bed and put these weary thoughts to rest. Tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow you can begin again. Yet, there is still time for one more listen, one more journey into the dreamland. So you have a seat. Sit back. Press play and let the music slip through your skin and into your mind.