Sunday, June 11, 2017

Grumpy Old Man Replies to "Wake Me Up," Part I

I love the lyrics to this song:
Wake Me Up
Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start

They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me

I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
I hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don't have any plans

I wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life's a game made for everyone
And love is the prize

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

Now that does sound very grumpy does it? Well, grumpy comes in Part II. First I wish to express my appreciation for these lyrics.

The songwriter, Tim Bergling, AKA Avicii or Î›VICII, was born in 1989. As I was listening to the song, as I have done several times, I was blown away by the maturity of the lyrics and their applicability to me, a man more than twice his age.

I have recently had an awakening. Coming out of the period of fear and despair from knowing how terrible a planetary crisis we're and the likelihood that environmental degradation will continue to accelerate, I was feeling pretty hopeless. I was also feeling impotent because despite best efforts of many of us Earth becomes increasingly inhospitable to life, and there is good reason to believe that we are either past, at, or will soon reach the point of no return.

Thinking about the song and my depression reminded me of Parsifal, a version of The Legend of the Holy Grail. Parsifal while still a young man sees the Grail, but fails on his quest for it because he does not ask the question, "Who does the Grail serve?" He is still wearing his homespun under his armor, and he fails to ask the question because he was taught it was impolite ask questions

When he wakes up in the morning, the Grail Castle has disappeared, and he is forced to wander and face many challenges for decades before he develops the maturity in the confidence to be able to see the castle again.

Regardless of gender, many of us see a spark of divinity in our youth, but are too timid or too conforming to reach for it. We slog through midlife sometimes remembering and regretting our failure.

Old age is no easy journey either, but if we are very lucky, it may provide freedom for reflection and from the conformity into which we were raised. We reach point when we realize that it may be all over soon, so it's past time to wake up.

Waking up is not easy for most of us. Of course, even when we get a glimpse, a moment of insight, the temptation to go back to sleep is usually irresistible. Yet, over time, if we are blessed, our understanding of awakening and resting evolve.

Well, I've gone on long enough. I will save the grumpy for Part II. 

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