Friday, January 12, 2007

What You Call Defeat

A HOW brother and I were sharing some music and the closing song on his CD reached out, grabbed me, shook me, held me. All of it, each word, written for me. But one verse:

Time to get scared - time to change plan
Dont know how to treat a lady, dont know how to be a man
Time to admit - what you call defeat
'Cause there's women running past you now
And you just drag your feet

An e-mail to Sis and a question back: What is it that so resonates with me. There is the obvious:
"Time to get scared" just reeks of the fear that has me shivering to the core. "Time to change plan" - the change which will bring that proverbial hard rain.

But what really resonates is the subtelty of "Time to admit - what you call defeat". Not "time to admit defeat"-actual defeat. The words are "time to admit what you call defeat". To me it speaks of my feelings of shame and inadequacy when admitting to being gay.

The song is twenty-five years old and I wonder, does it resonate with me because I am stuck in time, twenty-five years late to the party. Then I remember how my niece came out to her parents maybe half a dozen years back. A long night, in and out of their sight, lurking around their house. And then, after 11 PM, a late hour, she comes into their bedroom and tells them, tears freely flowing: "I am Gay." Yes, time to admit...

There is a sadness in those words, but it also holds out hope, hope that it is not really a defeat because I can drop the "what you call". That is of course the work that lies ahead, to reach a level where I no longer define it as a defeat.

So besides loving the music, the piano and overall imagery, it resonates deeply to someone being forced - by himself, by his wife, by reality - to admit what at the moment feels like defeat.

I happened upon the video while searching for the lyrics and never really watched with my full attention - listened very well, watched with half an eye. This post is from the imagery in my brain. Last night I wanted Carrie to hear the song: not having the CD handy, I played the video and actually watched it, watched the men, the interaction between the players and then watched, for the first time, the end: the suicide.

And I was disheartned, disheartned because Carrie will always associate the songs with images of a director instead of images of the mind. And I am rocked by the change in message. At the end of the video, it truly was defeat and at the end of my "book", with all the pain and troubles ahead, it will truly be a victory, a victory in being authentic with myself and still maintaining my family, those I cherish, in ways that go beyond the marital bed.

There is much work ahead, but last night I saw the "wrong" ending.

And there is hope embedded in fear.

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