I've also been distracted by music, because I knew better than to start listening to too much new music while I was on my surgical rotation. That's a dangerous bit of business. Sometimes, if I find a new song I like, I have to listen to it about 200 times, nearly crashing my computer. I've always been this way- my brother thought I was completely mental in high school as I destroyed tapes, because Mr. Khosla, I would rewind it all the time. Worse yet, it wasn't enough to just have the music playing. No, I had to sit there, nearly catatonic, absorbing the song for the 70th, 80th, eleventy-billionth time. That would not have gone over well on my surgical rotation- though there were still a few I'm-dead-tired-and-about-to-hit-a-wall moments when I set iTunes on random and said hello to a bunch of old friends.
Anyhow, now I'm kind of overdosing as a result. After swallowing whole the entirety of the new Goldspot album (which really is excellent and deserves a post all of its own) and the new Cornershop album, I have become fixated on two songs. One is not a very good song, the other is absolutely breathtaking.
The first is Pearl Jam's The Fixer which I've posted for your listening pleasure. Which is funny, because this is the song that I don't think is that good of a song. It's not a bad song, but it's not on par with Pearl Jam's gloried past. But the lyrics to this song really got me thinking this week. I've already had a few email exchanges about it. Most music, most films, most everything these days, truly, are about letting go. Even I, who used to be so in need of anchors and chemical bonds, have become comfortable with entropy and floating around without any restraints. At first, I thought this was just the nature of getting older, but lately, I've been thinking that it's more of a cultural shift, some sort of sign of the times.
And while I think that it's important to be present, to not dwell too much on the past or the future, there's something to be said for the lyrics to this song. I've thought about it specifically because I think that's what I found rather seductive about surgery. I don't think I'm ultimately cut out to do it for a living (punny!), but there's something so tempting about the simplicity of it (a surgeon somewhere is sharpening their scalpel and aiming it for my jugular right now for daring to call surgery in any way simple). There is something undeniably satisfying about it- cut out a tumor, cancer gone, thank you, come again. I know it's rarely quite that simple, but surgery lures you in with that possibility.
I suppose the lyrics to The Fixer are similarly seductive-
when something's dark, let me shed a little light on it
when something's cold, let me put a little fire on it
if something's old, I wanna put a bit of shine on it
when something's gone, I wanna fight to get it back again
I know, I know. I know the song is a mirage. I know it doesn't quite work this way. And I guess that's why I'll never be a surgeon, because I can't, at the end of it all, buy into the simplicity. I know it's not as straightforward as all that. Usually, if you're talking of letting go, if you've lost something, it was meant to leave or it's gone such that there's not much you can do to get it back again. You're just clawing at empty space, and wasting a lot of energy in the process, more often than not. It's odd. I think I've only got that fire for myself these days- I don't like the feeling that pieces of me are falling away. I will fight to get it back again, to get back those pieces of me that I did not want to lose. Like the part of me that can turn into a zombie because she happened upon some silly song.
The other song is Grizzly Bear's Two Weeks, which, I don't know what to say about it exactly. If you've listened to it a bunch of times, perhaps it's grabbed you like it did me. I mean, it has this to recommend it:
Would you always...
make it easy,
take your time.
I love the unfinished thoughts, how much is left unsaid and unresolved. I know dysfunctional relationships are horrid and unpleasant to experience, but holy Toledo, do they ever make for beautiful songs.