Sometimes, when I hear a song for the first time, it becomes an instant game changer. It is rare, but when it happens, it is a precious gift indeed. Yesterday was one of those times, and Pearl Jam’s, “I Am Mine”, was the song. It is now my song.
Initially, when I heard this song, I thought to myself that the tempo was well-suited for trail running, but then, the lyrics and the emotion behind the song quickly pulled me in, held me tightly, and didn’t let go. They still haven’t.
As I listened to the lyrics over and over again, for the first time in weeks, I felt the jumble of thoughts and feelings begin to unravel and reconfigure themselves in a way that finally made sense to me. What I haven’t been able to articulate to myself or to anyone else for that matter, Eddie Vedder managed to do in a about a four-minute span. Over twelve years ago, this insanely talented soul wrote lyrics that resonate with me as strongly as if I had written this song myself today. That is the power of music.
It is said that Eddie wrote this song after the 2000 Roskilde Festival, where nine fans were crushed to death during Pearl Jam’s set. Eddie has said that he wrote this song “to reassure myself that this is going to be all right”. I don’t know if writing this song provided him with the reassurance that he sought, but I do know that listening to it reassured me on my own search.
There has been a renewed chaos in my professional and personal lives of late, and the dissonance in my heart, mind, and baby soul has been deafening. The noise of daily life, combined with the internal chatter, has made my mindfulness practices exercises in futility, and I have felt like my life was becoming an accident, instead of a life of purpose. I couldn’t explain what was happening, but Eddie could.
The song in its entirety is brilliant, but these are the lyrics that diffused my internal minefield of thoughts and emotions to help me catch my breath and to proclaim, “I. Am. Mine.”:
“I know I was born and I know that I’ll die
The in between is mine
I am mine”
Recently, I have gotten in the soul crushing habit and mindset of putting off some things that I am being called and led to do, and I have put my life on autopilot. Change and uncertainty can be disconcerting for me, so, I have been traveling on the path of least of resistance, which actually has caused a great struggle between who and what I am and who and what I have been pretending to be to keep the peace and to please others in my public life. I so completely understood when Eddie sang the following lyrics:
“The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow’s denied
I only know my mind
I am mine”
So, with these lyrics lingering in my ears, I allowed them to permeate my heart and baby soul to take root there. While I cannot change or control some of the external circumstances that I am dealing with currently, I can go inward, because:
“Me, I figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind”
This song has reignited my passion and purpose for living my life out loud and for being present in my own life for myself and for others. I definitely don’t have all of the answers and am sure to continue to stumble and fail along the way, but I am at peace with how I proceed. For I would rather lead a perfectly flawed and beautifully messy life than lead a life that looks like a prettily wrapped package on the outside, only to be empty on the inside. Eddie and all, this is going to be all right:
“And the meaning, it gets left behind
All the innocents lost at one time
Significant, behind the eyes
There’s no need to hide
We’re safe tonight”
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story