Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Internal Playlist and Queensryche

It is safe to say that before about 6 weeks ago, I hadn't thought about or heard the song "Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche in perhaps 2 decades.  I woke up one of my first mornings back in the States with the song playing in my head.

Waking up with a song in my head is pretty normal.  In fact, having a song in my head at any time of the day, waking or sleeping, is pretty normal.  Sometimes the internal playlist is annoying, like when the They Might Be Giants song "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" was the single song on the list during my 4 days in Istanbul.  Sometimes the playlist offers me reminders, like Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With" did for me while I was in India.  Sometimes the playlist soothes me with the Taize songs "Veni Sancte Spiritus" or "Ubi Caritas."  Thankfully, the internal playlist is large and varied, so much so that what it dredges up sometimes surprises me. 

Waking up to "Silent Lucidity" was definitely unexpected.  Even when the song was popular, I didn't love it enough to learn the lyrics.  When I woke up to it, the lyrics weren't there.  My mind played the music and the title words "silent lucidity." 

After hearing the song from within, I was curious as to why it might have popped up, so I looked up the lyrics. After doing so, I thought about buying the song on iTunes, but I didn't.  However, I think the song wants to stick with me for a while, because again this morning, I woke up with "Silent Lucidity" playing in my head.  It seems to want to join my mind's "top 25 most played" playlist.

I'm not going to talk about the meaning of the song or even all the lyrics (though you can find them here, if you really want them), but there are some words that make a lot of sense to me:

"If you open your mind for me / You won't rely on open eyes to see/
The walls you built within / Come tumbling down / And a new world will begin

I imagine those words coming from God (even as I write, I'm surprised that I'm giving credit to Queensryche for giving me a little message from God) and in that context, they make a lot of sense to me.  If we open our minds to God, we open ourselves to a greater depth than what we perceive using only our eyes.  If we open our minds to God, we begin tearing down the walls that separate us from God, from others, perhaps even from hidden parts of our own being.  Once those walls are gone, a whole new world is open to us.  I guess it's the World of Possibilities I've been talking about.  Maybe that's why the song keeps popping up on my playlist, to remind me to keep taking in the world around with something other than my eyes.

This afternoon as I was listening to NPR (I don't remember which program), there was a blurb about disabled travelers that introduced me to the notion of "sight-feeling."  Without the sense of sight, sight-seeing is not possible.  But that doesn't mean that the blind don't or shouldn't travel.  They simply explore places in a way that some of us don't: they sight-feel.  I think we'd be wise to do the same.  I think about my own travels and, while far too many times I have only taken in my surroundings with my eyes, some of my most powerful experiences have been when I have allowed other senses to take over: smelling (though not always by choice) the spices, the trash, the jasmine, the animals in India; listening to singers in St. Anne's Church in Jerusalem; listening to the waves rolling in along the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, the Red Sea in Eliat, the Adriatic Sea in Petrovac and feeling the chill of the water in each place; letting my hand run over the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the security wall in Bethlehem; tasting custard apples, zaatar, and so many other foods in each place I went.  None of these experience required my eyes.  All of these experiences opened me up to some new part of Life.  Some of the experiences were inevitable.  Some I had to seek out, deliberately choosing to use senses other than sight. I am so glad I did. 

Going back to Queensryche, the song also contains these words, which I will again attribute to God:

I / Will be watching over you /
I am gonna help you see it through /
I / Will protect you in the night /
I am smiling next to you /
In silent lucidity

God's with us, watching over us, protecting us, smiling next to us, not only in our moments of silent lucidity- those times when we step away from the busy-ness of our days for quiet meditation, reflection, stillness, Life-exploring- but in every moment.  It's up to us to notice, to sight-feel that Presence, because I'm pretty sure if we only use our eyes to look, we're going to miss it.

In closing, I have to say that this is the first time I've paid such close attention to my internal playlist, and definitely the first time I've examined a single song from it so closely.  This makes me curious about your experience, so I'll end with 2 questions:  Do you have an internal playlist?  If you do, how do the songs on it interact with your day or your life, if at all? (This feels like the teacher in me needing to surface.)

I am sincerely interested in your answers, so I hope you'll respond.  Thanks!  

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