Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Live Life

(Even though it's after midnight, this counts as my 22nd Jan entry - my computer crashed.  Totally valid excuse.)

I was listening to some Coldplay (always awesome) and this month I've really been paying attention to lyrics and really thinking what do they mean to me?

Usually I'm very much a words person (as most people who know me are very well aware of) and quite good at the whole 'why use one word when twenty will suffice?'  So, usually, I do know lyrics in songs and I can often think of entire lines of songs when I can't remember the title.  But really paying attention to them makes them more like poems; I feel as if I am back in an English class, analysing the meaning of a piece of writing; or, very similarly, back in art class, analysing the composition and symbolism of a painting.  It's always something I found really enjoyable and it always seemed to 'fit' with the way my brain worked - I always feel I can see multiple meanings in everything.

Not that I didn't realise this before, but most songs are love songs - songs about relationships, getting hurt, breaking up, making up, being in love, wanting to be in love... however, it's interesting to interpret those in different ways; to think of love as being something bigger than two people - some love songs seem to speak about any relationship in general; others make me feel like love could represent many things. 

So while I was listening to Coldplay's Viva la Vida and really paying attention to the lyrics I was surprised at how I really connected with them.   It's a bit of a strange song (lyrics-wise) and it has a lot of religious references, which don't resonate with me, but when I really really listened (and read) the words I felt that it also perfectly described this feeling of loss that I sometimes feel with regard to my life.  "King" could represent anything - an achievement, an employment position, a relationship... basically he's talking about being king of his world - a ruler, someone invincible, feeling like you have it all... and then it all disappears.

This really speaks to me a lot about how I felt when I got Lyme - of course, I didn't even know it was Lyme at that point - but when I initially got ill.  Everything just changed.  I honestly went from feeling like I had the world at my feet, I could do anything, my future was just laid out in front of me, waiting for me to take it by storm.  And then, suddenly, there was nothing but fear, pain, uncertainty and sheer exhaustion. 

It took me a long time to really deal with that.  After I found out in 2008 that I actually had Lyme and not the non-specific "chronic fatigue syndrome", which is a meaningless diagnosis with no treatment, a strange array of symptoms, a dreadful prognosis and suffers from a severe lack of understanding - from doctors, medical professionals, ordinary people and even patients themselves.  Finding out I had Lyme made things different - for starters, there was actually a treatment plan - telling people about it, explaining it, reading research and solid information was so much easier than dealing with something unknown (and with remaining negative connotations).  Although Lyme awareness has increased since 2008, it's still not well understood (again, by researchers, medical professionals, ordinary people and even "lymies") - it is really an "invisible illness" and is difficult for people to understand, because, as with other invisible illnesses, they are.... invisible.  Often people don't look ill at all... or more accurately, on those days they stay in their bed and don't let anyone else see them; or when there is no other choice - layer on the make-up, hat and sunglasses, drug yourself up to your eyeballs and fuel the day with energy drinks and coffee - knowing that the next day(s) will HAVE to be spent in bed!

But having an answer and a solution really gave me the idea of a future back - everything that had been swept away so suddenly slowly began to build in my mind again.

Then I took a tumble down the stairs.  Really not part of the plan.  And, of course, nothing's ever simple, so obviously the full extent of that took a long time to become apparent.  And, of course, I am a medical anomaly and have, in every sense of the word, wrecked my entire shoulder joint.  But I have, at times, this year, had the same feeling that my future had almost come back; I had potential and possibility again and now I am back to taking things one day at a time; not looking too far ahead and facing the fact that I simply don't have all the answers (again) and that (here's that damn word again) patience is key.

It's difficult to explain to people how hard it is to try to make plans when you can't visualise where you will be (physically, emotionally) the very next week.  I know from other people who have had similar experiences that they say the same.  Ironically, the way to build that up starts by not looking too far ahead either and just trying to make little plans each day until you are confident enough you can believe in the ability to make bigger plans.

So there's a bit of me that feels like I've been here before... and I got through it last time, so I plan to get through it again.

"Viva La Vida"

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

(Again: I don't own any music/ videos etc. All linked to Youtube and artists accredited)

I also think the song is about the futility of life and how everything can change in an instant and nothing is ever guaranteed, no matter what plans we make.  Sometimes that sounds a bit miserable, but sometimes it gives me great comfort - it always just makes me feel like no-one has control, everything is just hurtling through space and randomness, and we are all just along for the ride.... so we might as well do our best to enjoy it when we can.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

~ Anais Nin

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