My current favorite song is “The Party” by Regina Spektor, off the album What we Saw from the Cheap Seats.
A song for me is music with words a distant second. I suppose that’s odd since I’m a writer. I played a Mumford and Sons song for my mom and her first question was what was he saying. I’d heard the song fifty times, but I had no clue. My emotional reaction comes from the music. If the words sync up with what I’m feeling, I’ll sometimes let them, or let some of them, in.
Regina Spektor’s music is fantastic. She could be speaking Russian or French for all I care. (She sometimes does, which is awesome.) I posted “The Party” to an old friend’s facebook page the other day. I wasn’t sure why I did that but I told her I thought she’d like the lyrics. Then I quoted them:
For every place there is a bus
that’ll take you where you must
start counting all your money and friends
before you come back again
What does that even mean I asked her. I said, “I don’t know but I love it!” Then I spent the rest of my day considering what that meant.
The Party is life. As humans we have the luxury and the torment of moving through time. We imagine our futures, we revisit our pasts, and we exist in the moment. Any of these can capture us and steal more than their share. Sometimes we consciously decide to give one more than its fair share. Someone recently posted on facebook a picture of someone’s arm with “Live With No Regerts” tattooed on it. And that wasn’t a typo. Rather it wasn’t a typo on my blog, it was a typo on someone’s arm. Allegedly. Hopefully it was a photo-shopped joke. The irony is so thick I find it suspicious. Is he or she able to look at that tattoo and follow the advice?
Living without regret isn’t possible or healthy for a human. Everyone’s different, everyone finds a mix among past, present, and future that works best for them, but at some point, a bus will take you to where you must take stock of your life. This will hurt some, this will feel wonderful some. For some people, at certain times, this will hurt more than it feels wonderful. That’s why she proposes a toast:
For the ones,
who hurt the most
Then you come back again. You learn from your past, that’s regret’s function, you contemplate your future with new hopes, and you enjoy your precious present with memories and hopes as complements. Life:
You’re like a big parade through town
you leave such a mess
but you’re so fun.