Sunday, January 02, 2011

Living our lives purposefully

In the last couple of days I have had a few conversations with people who told me more than I think I have the right to know about their personal stories. At the Old Year's Night/New Year's Eve party Sarita and I attended, a young man of 32 told me all about how he and his 26-year-old wife got together, beginning from when she was the 14-year-old older sister of his younger sister's best friend. She lived five doors down the street.

I was stunned, astonished, appalled at the casual attitude he seemed to display towards entering into a physical/sexual relationship with her . . . even "way back then." And then the (brief, but enough) details about how he "tested" her and, apparently, she "tested" him after they moved in together at 25- and 19-years of age, respectively.

Oh, and then (not terribly detailed, but enough) descriptions of his relationships with all the other girls he dated in his pre-marriage days.

Then this morning, talking with family members who returned from holiday visits with their in-laws, I was regaled once more with stories of broken relationships, infidelities, people with drug and alcohol problems, and more.

"How does this happen? Why do kids who come from stable, loving, strong homes throw it all out to pursue such downward spirals?"

It was with these kinds of thoughts in the back of my mind that my "Sweet Vocal" station on Pandora played John Ondrasik ("Five for Fighting"--perhaps best known for Superman (It's Not Easy))'s song 100 Years.

I have "liked" 100 Years a lot for a long time. Not that I knew its title, who had sung it, or what it was about. To be honest, I had never really listened to its lyrics. I had just loved the tune. But I happened to have the Pandora page open at the moment when the song came on yesterday and it displayed--and I happened to read--the first few lines.

I was stunned:
I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way babe
A family on my mind

I'm 45 for a moment . . .
????? "What is this about?" I asked.

I thought I knew, but I wanted to be sure. (By the way, go here for the rest of the lyrics.)

I looked the song up online and found a YouTube video. Not the official video, but the following video confirmed and, in a way, expanded on my understanding of the song (and, in fact, when I watched Ondrasik's orginal video, I came to the conclusion that it conveys the meaning of the song far better than does his).

Gorgeous. I found myself in tears:

Ah! That we would live our lives in consciousness of the swift passage of time!
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