Often, I wish I were in a George Michael song, any George Michael song, because the characters that populate his lyrics are nothing if not breathtaking. They’re complex, like real life human beings, and they’re often broken or scarred. Their hearts bleed through the lyrics, and I connect with them. More than that, though, it’s really all about the feelings, the emotions they tap into, that leap out through the songs.
“Sadness in my eyes. No one guessed, and no one tried. You smiled at me like Jesus to a child.”
There is a completeness to the idea of being smiled at by Jesus. I spent my entire formative years reading about and listening to stories about Jesus, how dynamic he was, and how blessed anyone felt when he looked at them. I imagine being that child, being young and naive, but knowing there’s more out there. Wanting to have faith but being weak, with sadness creeping in to every facet of my life. Then being smiled at by Jesus and knowing it will all be okay.
“So, I just kept breathing, my friends. Waiting for the man to choose, saying this ain’t the day it ends, ’cause there’s no white light and I’m not through. I’m alive.”
Death is the great unknown, isn’t it? I’ve always wanted to be in charge of my own fate, but I know it doesn’t happen that way, not really. Is there a tunnel, and a white light at the end of it welcoming people to the afterlife? I don’t know, but I feel comforted knowing that there’s more to life than just trying not to die. There’s this feeling of just breathing without having to think about it, existing day by day, and living life in those days, through those series of moments. I’m alive and I’m going to make the most of it.
“Suddenly my life is like a river, taking me places I don’t want to go. But like all good men who swim too well, it takes all that I have just to cry for help. Then that voice in my head tells me no.”
And it’s funny, but Jesus to a Child just came on my iPod. I put it on random to listen to while writing this post, and I feel like this song coming on at this exact moment is a sign.
But yes, we all want to be forgiven, for the little things, for the big things, for the in-between things that just keep coming up no matter how far we try to run from them. But it’s in the confrontation, in the admission that we can’t do it alone, that we are accountable, that’s when we truly grow and mature as individuals. And it’s not all clear sailing after that either, the voice in our heads telling us no, that it’s not all better just because we wish it. It is hard, and it takes trial and error, that sink or swim mentality, those tears that keep falling down.
Freedom comes from within, but we often need a push from an outside source because they see us objectively when we can just see the negatives or the positives, and not both. Love comes in so many different forms, and I think if we learn to recognize it there’s no telling how important it can be in our lives. For me personally it’s amazing to see how much love changes things, how much it changes people. I spent too long thinking that love was something others had and utilized that I completely overlooked it when people did show me love. I’m not blind anymore.
“Look into the eyes of any patient man, whether they be amber, green, or blue. There’s a piece of God staring back at you. But they see our children, and the old folk fend for themselves. They see our broken women on imaginary shelves.”
That’s the conundrum, isn’t it? If God exists, and if God is good, then why does he let so many bad things happen? And people say patience is a virtue, but how can I be patient when so much injustice doesn’t just wait around, when it’s all around all the time? It can torture me at times, when I see those children being treated horribly, when I see those old folks withering away without proper care, those broken women who are still in those abusive homes. And I imagine God looking through my eyes and seeing all I see, but doing nothing, and I have a hard time believing, a hard time being patient.
“Take my life. Time has been twisting the knife. I don’t recognize people I care for. Take my dreams, childish and weak at the seams. Please don’t analyze. Please just be there for me.”
We all change, and those shifts and changes don’t always help us remain compatible with others in our lives. I know I’ve been through more than my fair share of changes, and they’re not easy to go through or to deal with after the fact. When others see me now who knew me then, before the shifts and increasing complexities, they don’t recognize me. But I’m still me, just a newer version of me. Sam 3.0. And those who are with me, who understand me now, some have been there and shifted with me, and others are new because they don’t analyze me. They just appreciate me, and they’re there for me now, for the me I am now. Sometimes that’s easier than asking others to understand or to take the journey with me.
You see, that’s the biggest thing about George Michael’s songs. I identify with the vast majority of them because I’ve been there. I’ve felt those emotions, and I’ve traveled those roads. I want to be in a George Michael song because I am already in a George Michael song, so many of them. We have lived kindred lives, me and the characters who populate those songs, who put their souls out there for all to see, who have strong, beating hearts and believe that pain can be helpful. Because it’s through this pain that we truly experience the other side.
And there’s no white light. I’m still alive.