Or at least that was my working title this morning. I had an image of me gobbling up the world as I moved through it, moving outside of my perceived impotence. Piles of papers to grade? Done. Ineffective administrators? Tell ’em what to do! Unmotivated students? Light up their fires like the fourth of July. And it worked…for a bit. And then I remembered that Cookie Monster doesn’t actually have a throat and that all those flying cookie pieces are just for show. No substance, that guy.
There is a Phoebe Snow song that beautifully shows the human tendency to vacillate between two extremes. Occasionally, the melody will make its way into my head until the lyrics begin to form the concrete reflection of my emotions. Like today. I wasn’t expecting her words, but they arrived and insisted that I pay attention.
This trope is a familiar one in the music that I love. Over and over I can scroll through my playlists and see the pattern. These songwriters–the ones who some days provide the only oxygen that I require–are able to articulate something so deep in my being that the clarity left behind feels permanent, even though I know it is not. It is the way that I sometimes digest the world, trying to understand the duality of what others seem to see in clear singularity. Like the bulldozer that is Cookie Monster…focused so completely on one mission, knowing exactly which direction to go, which words to articulate, which emotion to settle into.
But me? I am as much Cookie Monster as I am the complicated subject of Phoebe’s song. And again, I have circled around to where I always seem to begin…wrestling with the contradictions that define (my?) life.