Monday, September 18, 2006

Bringing Sensitiveback: An Essay

[Disclaimer: This post is a rambling, incoherent mess. It came to me late two nights ago and has felt urgent since then. I'm not sure it will be of any interest to anyone other than me, so be warned. I don't plan on getting more personal here, just felt like I needed to put my thoughts down.]

"Where are all the good men dead: in the heart or in the head?" -Debbi Newberry

That quote above comes from a great, underrated movie, Grosse Point Blank, and has always stuck with me. It seemed like a chicken or egg question until recently. In the past few weeks (months, perhaps), I have come to see a clear answer to the question and realized how wrong I've acted until now.

Saturday night, walking my bike back home, I came through the Parkway, the majestic boulevard that is the site of many of Philly's great museums, looking at the Logan Circle fountain, realizing how beautiful the scene was. At the same time, listening to Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone," I see the homeless camping out on the patches of land along the avenue. For a long time, I've seen this sight as an embarrassment for the city, worried what visitors seeing this thought. Last night, it suddenly came upon me how cold I've become, how distant and uncaring. These are people, without homes, sleeping on the streets of my city, uncared for, alone, suffering.

When did I get like this? Why and how did I go dead in the heart? I've been living so long trying to stay cold and dead, avoid being hurt, that I was actually surprised at the thought of these men and women as fellow human beings. And that's sad. Sure, I've linked to political stuff here, called Bush an idiot, read the papers and form opinions on the issues, but so what? How has that changed anything? What causes have I become a part of and dedicated myself to?

I'm not sure if these thoughts reflect any one else's thinking, but I imagine that there are others who wonder what they are living for, what is the bigger cause that we struggle and fight for. I hope that this site can begin to reflect my growing realization in the need to fight for something and someone, the need for connection in this world. The time has come for me to start living it, to become an adult, as there is nothing lost in trying to become more human. As Dylan sneers, "When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose/You're invisible now, you ain't got no secrets to conceal."

I can't think of any better ending place for this post than a quote from the greatest man who ever lived, Steven Morrissey. I've quoted this lyric often, but it's going to be a daily struggle to live it day to day.

And you even spoke to me, and said :
"If you're so funny
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
And if you're so clever
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
If you're so very entertaining
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
If you're so very good-looking
Why do you sleep alone tonight ?
I know ...
'Cause tonight is just like any other night
That's why you're on your own tonight
With your triumphs and your charms
While they're in each other's arms..."

It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind
Over, over, over, over
It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes guts to be gentle and kind

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's steVen.