Friday, 14 December 2012

Now you're really living

One of my favourite songs is Hey Man, Now You're Really Living by Eels. If you don't know it, go and watch it now. The following post will make more sense if you do. Here's the link

Done? Good, here's my vaguely related thoughts:

I find the song incredibly uplifting, which is slightly counterintuitive if you listen to some of the lyrics. “Do you know what it's like to care too much about someone that you're never gonna get to touch” and “Do you know what it's like to fall on the floor and cry your guts out till you've got no more” sit alongside more obviously happy-happy-joy-joy lyrics like “Have you ever sat down in the fresh cut grass, thought about the moment and when it would pass”, so it doesn't look like a particularly happy song on the surface, but I think this simplistic view misses something important. The song ties all of these disparate feelings together with the key line “Hey man, now you're really living”.

Whether you're experiencing really good shit or really bad shit, you're experiencing real shit. Extreme emotion at both ends is required to really be living. I wouldn't appreciate the fresh cut grass, making love to a beautiful girl or seeing the sun rise over the hill anywhere near as much if I hadn't also cried my guts out till I had no more.

When you're depressed it's easy to forget that there are ups and downs, that your deepest troughs can be mirrored by equally high peaks. When you learn to accept that both are equally important parts of your life, and in a way equally desirable, that's when you're living what this life is all about. So thanks E, for helping crystallise my thoughts on this matter. And thanks for writing one of the few songs that's guaranteed to make me feel better when I'm down.

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