I've been out here all day
With my eyes open wide
Hoping that you will say
Everything is all right
We can be happy too
If you look out for me
The way I looked out for you"
So it seems an awful lot like this song makes me cry. It certainly did on my run today. I was crossing into Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens, and then angling in toward the shores of the Serpentine as I often do and this song came up, and boom: great gulping sobs.
So this song makes me cry either because of its inherent loveliness and sadness and pathos; or else because, a couple of weeks ago, when I was down in some depths of despair that were pretty alarmingly close to, let's agree to call it the bottom of the depths of despair, I was also running along and this song happened to come on. (*) (*)
Well, that other time, I was sure crying then, I can tell you that; and not least because of the resonances of the song lyrics with, let's call her a certain girlfriend who had been putting up with an awful lot of pain and uncertainty and sadness from a catostrophically depressed me, and it seemed today getting back to today again it seemed today like maybe those resonances, and some others as well, had all basically stuck to this song, and maybe were now stuck to it permanently.
And it's a lovely song and you can buy it for a buck on Amazon.com, or 69p on Amazon.co.uk, and perhaps maybe you should. (*) (As you can hear, it's really very good. And I'm here to tell you it's great to run to it even gets you fired up to run hard while crying! (*) )
I dragged myself out running today into a cold, wet, grey, drizzly, chilly, unappealing afternoon because I hadn't run the day before, and that was about all the running I was in a position to not do. That's the thing about having near-daily ass-kicking workouts as a necessary (though by no means sufficient) condition for your tenuous cling to mental health.
And, come to consider it, it probably behoves guys like that perhaps to live somewhere where the weather can really be counted on for outdoor things like running. Northern California certainly springs to the top of the mental short list.
But a funny thing happened on the run through the cold, wet, grey, drizzly, chilly, unappealing afternoon. More on that in a second, below.
Shortly after that song, "Dogs on the Hunt" by Judge D came on you can listen by pressing play here → Get the Flash Player to see this player. if, you know, the Damone song is over by now, or you could come back, otherwise. Anyway, this is a very different sort of song. It doesn't make you cry. It more sort of makes you wince, out of either maybe emotional discomfort, or perhaps even actual fear. But it's even better to run to. It's pretty ass-kicking, actually.
I think I found out that Judge D is somehow connected to Bionic Jive and that band currently accounts for probably 8 of my top 15 favourite workout songs, in the entire line-up. (*) So maybe you'll want to check them out, if you're into your ass-kicking workout music. You can browse and buy them on Amazon.com (but, sadly, not Amazon.co.uk). (Here again is that footnote explaining why I ♥ Amazon MP3, if you didn't click on the little asterisk two paragraphs back.)
Finally . . . "The Enemy Within" by Rush came on. Really, really, really long-term readers will recall that this is the song that sent me out on this crazy muti-continental odyssey in the first place. Back then it wasn't really so easy to embed a full song on a web page. So I'm thrilled to be able to do it now. Go on click on play. (This song can make you cry, too but in a joyful, knocked out by the myriad and wonderful possibilities of existence kind of way. (*) )
I'm writing this last paragraph first [I actually wrote everything above two days later - ed] all sweat-soaked and naked and post-runly blissful because I've got about a dozen ideas and projects pinging around my head right now. (For instance, I composed all of this dispatch, and most of the next one, in my head and on the hoof.) It turns out that life at least life in the rich, comfy West; and probably in other places, too is really all how you look at it. It's just that some of us need tricyclics or SSRIs, plus long hard daily runs, to look at anything in remotely the right way. For instance, right now I feel like it's not actually important to figure things out, or puzzle out just what I'm supposed to be doing; it turns out there are all kinds of interesting things one can do, and the important thing is probably just to do some interesting things.
Here's a good quote on that from Timothy Ferris in The 4-Hour Work Week:
If you are too intent on making the pieces of a nonexisent puzzle fit, you miss out on all the real fun."
For another example: what started out looking like (with one head and set of eyes) a crappy, cold, rainy, necessary run . . . finished (with another) as a lovely, misty, quiet, lonely, green, peaceful one. It was great. It really was. (Just had to get the right head screwed on.)
- They've got shedloads of music they're Amazon, of course artists and music labels all want to be on them.
- They're totally DRM free all untethered MP3s; yeah, I know every store is DRM-free now, but:
- You browse, sample, and buy all from a popular piece of software you may have heard of called a web browser. There's no need to trek over into Steve Jobs' iGhetto (i.e. use fucking iTunes).
- You've alredy got an Amazon account, you've been using it for years.
- Prices are cheap; searching is quick; samples are very adequate; &c. &c.