Right now there are tears covering my face. The reasons are almost as beautiful as they are dumb and embarrassing. I wept because of beauty and sadness and the wonder that is in the world. And I wept because I am very silly. And because of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
The day started off rough. I couldn’t wake up. I cut myself in a dream and it hurt dramatically for a dream. I woke up nursing the finger, wondering how it could have hurt so much when it didn’t really happen. Then I hit the snooze for an hour and a half.
When I finally got up my back hurt fiercely. The upper back, right between the shoulder blades. I took some pain killer and sat down to write, but nothing calmed down.
For the last few days I’ve been in an okay place mentally, but unstable. Liable to get angry or sad with only a tiny stimulus. Worse than that, I’ve had no motivation at all. I’ve wanted motivation, but my ability to give a fuck about anything is completely off. Nothing seems to matter.
I started to write this morning and it just wasn’t happening. I tried a writing prompt. It told me to act like a two year old. So I wrote for ten minutes as an unnecessarily articulate two year old with an evil older sister named Anna who stole her bunny and a nice even older sister named Girl. I don’t think she was actually named Girl. I think I was going for something nuanced there, but I didn’t write long enough to find out what it was.
I gave up on the prompt and went back to my writing journal to wax about how uninspiring I found that prompt. I clicked over to my countdown timer. It moved very, very slowly. It does that when I’m in these moods. Like it knows.
I came up with a plan to get some work done today, even despite my mood. And I kept writing even though I was in a lot of pain and every keystroke bored and annoyed me. I didn’t care about anything and it annoyed me that I didn’t care and I didn’t care that I was annoyed and that, too, was pretty annoying.
Then it happened.
I had put on a children’s music station to get inspiration for the prompt. It mostly played Phineas and Ferb music, and it wasn’t helping. Then came that voice. That beautiful, silly, ridiculous voice.
It was Alvin. It was Alvin of Chimpmunk fame. I recognized the song but I could place it. But it tugged at me. Right from the first few bars of that squeaky voice it moved something in my chest. It made me Feel Things.
It was a cover of Daniel Powter’s Bad Day. By the time Alvin stopped singing the song was so intense I had to keep it going. I went to Youtube and loaded the original video for the song. A video I had never seen before.
It’s about two people in a city who are having bad days while everyone around them goes about not caring. They are sad and lonely and disconnected. Throughout the video, they come together, through tiny moments and coincidences. It ends with them standing in the rain, huddled under an umbrella.
Now I’m covered in tears.
I’m sensitive, right now. In this place where nothing matters. Because when nothing matters I no defenses. I get angry when something goes slightly wrong. I become deeply sad when I hear about the tiniest suffering.
And beauty annihilates me.
If I see Mount Rainier on a clear day through by car window while I am in this place, sometimes I have to pull over because the feeling in my chest overwhelms me. In this place, every silly love song with a hint of power fills me with life and longing. I become a teenage girl who bawls at romantic comedies because they prove true love can exist in the world. I might go to pieces if exposed to too many Hallmark cards. I don’t know. I’ve never tried it, and I never will, because eventually the state will end and I’d have to live with that.
This is a place with no ironic distance. Where poetry has the power to reshape reality and bring me to my knees. Where clichés like “bring me to my knees” have all of the strength they had when they weren’t clichés. When they were just beautiful.
Some people live here. People like me make fun of them for being simple, or pretentious, depending on the flavor. But this is a beautiful place. Beautiful and painful and inspiring and terrible. I can’t exist here for long. The air is nectar and I nearly drown with every sublime lungful of breath. This is where Artists come from, and the intensity of every raindrop is why they cut off their ears. How could they do otherwise, when the world is like this?
I can’t stay here for long. The more beautiful it becomes the more difficult it is. I have to leave. I always have to leave.
But hopefully, I can always bring something back.