Thursday, November 5, 2009

Universal Feeling

So this doesn’t necessarily relate to travel, although being the armchair traveler, I am most familiar with visiting places through other peoples experiences in words or songs. Anyway, this also may or may not be a random fact about me (remember those?). I’m not sure, but either way, I feel that this is a valid (although terrifying) truth that should be expressed.

It seems that some (I may be included, you never know) have a problem in every-day life communicating or saying what they feel. I don’t mean about everything under the sun, but about those things that require in-depth personal analysis, or revelation of intimate ideas and feelings. I know others are this way: I’ve dealt with them before (unfortunately). Why does communication get lost or misunderstood so easily? Potential for misunderstanding makes people not want to communicate at all because they feel that they will not be able to get across what they are trying to say or they are just afraid to reveal themselves in such a vulnerable way. When they try, it may come out all wrong and they fear that they shouldn’t have even tried in the first place. Fear bottles people up.

When writers write, or singers sing, or players play, they are not afraid of how they will be perceived. Or at least it seems that way. I don’t know, maybe it’s just a way to cope, a coping mechanism, that singers can say exactly what others are feeling, but feel that it is impossible to say.

I really admire those people that can tell me exactly what I’m feeling without even knowing me and my particular situation. Maybe it’s that they have felt what they are saying at one point in time, but not presently right when they are saying it. That must make it easier.

I can listen to a song or watch a movie and identify completely even to the point where I feel that the piece is written solely for me. Human experience is universal, I suppose. The emotions we feel are not unique to individuals. We all feel them, although maybe not at the same time or in the same way.

I look up to writers like James Baldwin or even to singers and songwriters like Evanescence. Their words are like poetry, invoking tranquility, joy, even wrath. With titles like Nobody Knows My Name, The Fire Next Time, Just Above My Head, and lyrics like “One day I’m gonna forget your name”, or “fear is only in our minds but its taking over all the time” there is no end to the many situations and feelings one can identify with. I know there are so many others but have you ever listened to John Mayer’s Gravity? Wow, does that song resonate with me. I know too that at any other given time when I am not drowning in my sorrow Bigger Than My body gives me chills. I feel like I am living exactly what is being said at that moment. It’s almost biographical.

It’s actually amazing to realize how readily one human being can identify with the experiences that a complete stranger has had. It makes it seem so trivial to be racist, sexist, or whatever other form of discrimination is out there. It’s sobering to realize that throughout the human experience we have such a limited range of emotions and responses to experiences that a songwriter thousands of miles away knows exactly how someone else is feeling going through a break-up or other tough situation that they couldn’t have possibly have guessed without knowing first-hand. I suppose that emotions such as love, fear, joy, anger, and so on cannot be escaped or denied by any.


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