Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Law of Lift

It requires downward pressure
on a form forged in precision
plus forward thrust
to produce the journey.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gotye, Addiction, and Love

So I can't resist picking this Gotye video apart. Go ahead and watch it again--maybe twice even--and then we'll dive in.

"Somebody that I Use To Know" --Gotye

(I'm blogging away from my computer. My apologizes if the link doesn't work correctly.)

I think that the key line is "You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness." He only says it once. You'd think the oft repeated, "Now you're just somebody that I use to know," would be key. However, that is his addiction.

For instance, the first time I watched the video, I thought he was talking about the woman in the video. That she was that somebody. But after watching the video a couple times in a row, it's a very circular song. The end leads into the beginning.

Her last straw with him was that, in spite of him assuring her to the contrary, she did catch him getting hung up on somebody that he use to know. When she sings this, they are still relating. This is the moment that she is parting from him. This is evidence that he will have at least two some bodies that he use to know.

What is also interesting is that he doesn't even look at her until after she is done singing. He's too busy feeding off of past hurts to notice her.

The thing about addiction is that you feel compelled to feed it, repeating the experience, over and over and over. When he says, "You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness," this is the closest he comes to a confession. But even in that, he distances himself, using an impersonal "you". He also places all the blame for he hurt he feels on this somebody's actions.

He is a shattered, broken man--visually supported by the background that envelops him, including his face. He sees everything through that brokenness. She is almost equally enveloped. However, her face is not yet covered. She can still see, and chooses freedom. As the background washes off, she becomes free. She is no longer a pawn feeding his addiction. Or, perhaps, this is the choice he's been pushing her towards, in order to feed his addiction.

Why would he be addicted to a certain kind of sadness? He equates that "ache" of longing with love. He is so broken that he can't receive love when offered, but instead only dwells on the loss, "the end". When you can't feel emotions, or can't let yourself feel them, then even feeling negative emotions is a rush. An evidence you are alive. He is deadpan, except when recounting and reliving the loss. "It feels so rough" and that is all he can feel.

So at least she finds freedom. What would it take for him? Can he find redemption? Would he be able to hear it if, instead of a f-you kind of breakup, she reached out and removed some if the paint from his face? Hold the shattered pieces back, at bay, if only for a moment, so that he could see and get a taste of something else, a whiff of freedom. Because, she hadn't been healthy in the relationship either. She internalized everything and felt it was her fault. When she realized this wasn't the case, she snapped. If she broke it off, not in anger, but I'm more healthy way, could he have found freedom, too?

So what could we take away from this, apart from a hauntingly beautiful song? What I see is the absolute necessity to know who you are, and be secure in that. When I am secure in who I am in Christ and who He made me, I'm not going to take someone's faults as my own. (Though I will own up to my faults.) I'm not going to be as easily susceptible to manipulation. The paint of the shattered background wouldn't stick in the first place.

This also means that all elements of relationships are more likely to be healthy, including breakups. If I know who I am in Christ, resting in His love and forgiveness, I am more likely to extend that to others. The woman was right to breakup in this video, it was an unhealthy relationship. But had she known who she was from the beginning, she could have broken it off well, offering a piece of freedom, instead of feeding his addiction and giving him what he was after all along.

So, preaching to myself here, know who you are in Christ, stand firm and secure in that, and do all things in love.

What's your take on this video? Do you agree or see something completely different? Leave a comment and let's discuss!

Monday, October 22, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog

That is the question.  Whether ‘tis nobler . . .

I’ve had a flood of ideas lately.  It’s a rush, really.  Taking an idea and flipping it over to see what’s on the other side.  To have a passage, three words even, of scripture jump out and tackle you, so that you end up wrestling with it across pages of both testaments, concordances, lexicons, to emerge three hours later, tired but invigorated.  To have a song on the radio get stuck in your head, so that you look up the video on YouTube, and get so captivated—even though it relates to nothing in your experience—you watch it five times in a row, and feel you could write a paper picking it apart.

If I have any addictions, truly it is thinking.  But addictions are generally negative things, especially when done alone, in isolation, in secret.  They need to be brought out in the open, exposed to the light, and the warmth of community.  Then, then the redemptive elements are found, shared.

That was overly dramatic, but if that’s the wave of the moment, I’ll ride it.  Whether enjoying the ride or enduring it, both are best done loosely and at rest. 

So I have this blog, and its purpose is to share what I find along the way.   Your niece may give you twenty-seven rocks and shells she picked up along the shore—her treasures—but you can’t tell the difference between any of them.  You indulge her, holding them for her in your pockets, until you can politely put them down. 

I propose we both see my blog that way.  But that means I need to share what I’m thinking, and not worry that I’m going to spoil it by writing it out.  I’m a recovering perfectionist, and I still have my lapses.  More often than not, if I don’t have five hours of uninterrupted quiet, where I am completely un-fatigued by a work day—I won’t write.  Which means I effectively haven’t written in two months.  And I’ve been aiming for once a week!  So I’ll push myself past that perfectionist block and write more.  And if you wouldn’t mind, could you hold this rock of mine, and put it down when I’m not looking? 


The video I mentioned is below.  If I come to the pop culture table at all, it’s usually late.  This is “Somebody That I Use To Know” by Gotye.  At the risk of sounding like an emo high schooler, I find the combination of song and video intriguing.  The story is conveyed very compellingly, even to someone who can’t relate with the story. 

(Don’t worry, it’s safe to watch.  It’s not going to go where you think it’s going to go.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Sitting in familiar rows
Memories leap with unexpected power
Flashes of images, sights, sounds, emotions
Ten odd years of faith, life, shared in this space

Both our paths have led from here
Your road has come home
Mine bends and continues on

Seasons turn
Chapters close
We mourn the transitions

A life well lived.
May I live as well.