Friday, January 23, 2009

Buffy and Spike and Meaning

Just when you think you're safe, just when you think you've armored yourself with pop shallowness, Meaning forces its way in.

I understand that some think of UUs as intellectual brainiacs, finding meaning reading Niebuhr and Thich Nhat Hanh. Or in something more poetic, like gazing out on a field of golden waving grasses.

No one will ever think of me in that way.

I do the deep reading, but when does the Universe smack me upside the head? Generally, when I'm listening to something ... um ... pop. Shallow. Frothy, even.

I blogged before about having a big Aha moment to ... no, not A-ha, but close, Howard Jones.

Today, I headed out to the Y for the first time since LW was re-diagnosed. I drop her off in the kids' play area and go up to my labryinth. Okay, it's an oval indoor track.

Round and round and round. I know that I am a wee bit on the fragile side, so I've carefully stacked the deck, loading up a playlist with pop stuff. And joy! This morning, one of the $5 downloads is the soundtrack to the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Score! I mean, it's funny songs from a campy musical episode about a vampire hunter? Pretty safe, huh?

Let me pause ... if you have never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, don't go any further. I can't explain it all. And I'll just sound even more ridiculous. Save yourself, all to the lifeboats!

Okay, now that it's just me and the Buffy-philes ...

So, I'm walking along, thinking about nothing deeper than Hmm, some say you should eat after a workout, but others say you shouldn't ... when it gets to "Something to Sing About."

And I'm listening to the song, well, half-listening, because I'm starting to feel a little hungry and I'm wishing those so-called experts would just make up their minds on the whole exercise thing and the song stops and then goes real slow as Buffy sings:

So that's my refrain
I live in Hell
'Cuz I've been expelled
From Heaven
I think I was
In Heaven

And I start getting a little teary. Because I was in heaven. I had gone through the fire, but I was in the heaven of being able to not live with fear as my constant companion. When we went for those scans last spring, I even admitted to The Husband that I would be really surprised if something showed up.

I think I was
In Heaven

And now, I'm working, I'm doing. Taking class, tending my family, even doing Weight Watchers. Planning vacations.

But I'm not in heaven. Because Fear will not leave me, not even for one day. Fool me twice ...

I live in Hell
'Cuz I've been expelled
From Heaven

And so I learn to live with it. I learn to hope for the best and live life as close to normal as possible.

After Buffy sings that above little bit, the music speeds up, and she begins dancing, dancing furiously. So fast, so hard, that it's going to cause her to literally explode.

And as that part of the music is playing on my iPod, I'm realizing that that's the sound deep inside me, because hidden away is this frantic, frenetic out-of-control dance. Waiting to explode.

Spike steps in and stops her:

Life's not a song
Life isn't bliss
Life is just this
It's living
You'll get along
The pain that you feel
You only can heal
By living
You have to go on living
So one of us is living

I think Thich Nhat Hanh would agree.

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