27 February 2011

A Year In the Life

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?


As I was purging, packing, and preparing to relocate ...
lyrics to the Broadway musical with cult-esque following RENT, "Seasons of Love," was a veritable company keeper. Breaking through at odd and opportune moments, these words proved powerful to assuage my fears at the enormity of the risk at hand and sustain my strength at the surmounting plateau of boxes before me.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, 365 days ago on February 26, 2010, I had the opportunity and unction to get the attention of and stoke the interest in my now -- and expecting our forever -- Love. When I think about the people who participated in orchestrating getting us into the same rooms, as well as, the people both of us had to dismiss out of our lives to make room for one another, my eyes well up to water prayers of gratitude and awe. In the moments we were being nudged together, none knew what was happening, yet, with the steady beat of just being and being where we belonged, we came together -- five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes ago.


As I purged...
I left gifts from old lovers at the alley dumpster frequented by the homeless and other urban treasure hunters. Discarding some items was a welcome relief; like relieving myself of an albatross of relationship angst which almost took my liveliness along with my life. Discarding other things spoke assuringly that I was merely passing along a blessing to make room for new gifts of grace. I like stuff (and most of it was specially selected purple stuff) so purging was cathartic, leaving me feeling equally disentangled and disoriented. Who had I become through knowing and being known? Who had had to forgive me and who had I forgiven? Who had left scars so deep and lessons well-learned that made me a wiser woman, better lover and life partner? I purged. I let go of the awful. I let go of the awe. And I sang, and allowed to waif through my mind like prayerful incense:

How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

As I packed...
I sorted based on immediate need and seasonal usefulness. I absent mindedly over-packed fragiles as though it was my heart being wrapped in layers of bubble wrap, surrounded by plush bath towels, ensconced into a double thick dish barrel. I desperately needed to protect my fragile heart wrapped in even more fragile packing materials of faith, hope, and trust. I wondered what she would think of my predilection for purple. I know she still hasn’t fully comprehended my passion for the high chroma pigment extracted from rotten mussel shells and mucus. I longed for her to accept my collection of amethyst Mikasa vases and serving bowls -- suitable for every day use and special occasion finishing touches. I feared having to explain why my seasons of home decorations were in lilac, lavender, Tyrian purple and eggplant (commonly translated into Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall). I so wanted her to make physical and spiritual accomodations for which she may never understand and to eventually regard my purples as being in a perpetual state of Advent -- ever expecting love's salvation in my incarnation. Joyfully whelmed in tears salted by good sense fears I hummed:

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

As I prepared...
to end my business matters of the past 25 years in Southern California, my to-do and must-get-done lists grew exponentially. I never did get everything done; and am therefore still working through it through phone calls and letters. I never did get to the bottom of my list for saying "good-bye," "so long," "farewell," and most of all, "thank you" to the women and men, gays and lesbians, good friends and frequent acquaintances, church folk and neighbors -- all who had made memories with me. So many memories, so many good times. I am just calling back now to say "may it only be distance between us." For as long as distance does not become the death of us I will be your friend and hope you will be mine. I want you there for me when I come back (to visit) and you are welcome here. In the meantime, while I prepared to go, even since I have arrived here, I think of you vowing to always remember us a in sing-song whisper:

It's time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Having arrived here, every cell of my being is acutely aware of the freefall of faith in the name of love that I have taken. Never one to find bungee jumping appealing, the bounce back to the point of origin suggests a boundary to possibility, I am exhilarated instead by the jump out of the plane five hunderd twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes above our future. Purged of extra weight, packed with lighter baggage, I remind myself that I am prepared to venture to our places of dreaming and ways of being together. I reach out my hand and she is there, together, we are fall-flying into a bold reality of authenticity and audacity of being. Together. Who knew?

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

Whilst regarding the lyricists' units of measure, my soul sang measures of her own:
In smiling phone calls, in flights
In flirtatious texts, in deep sighs good-bye
In FaceBook, Skype, G-mail, and USPS mail
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?


Together we make new units of measure that will take us through this next year in the life:
In cheery good mornings, in good night kisses
In checking in texts, in how-you-doing mid-day calls
In dinner together, church on Sunday, double recliners, and planning a party


We measure in Love!
In Seasons of Love!

###

The Wikipedia Citation:
"Seasons of Love" is a song from the Broadway musical Rent, written and composed by Jonathan Larson. The song starts with an ostinato piano motif, which provides the harmonic framework for the cast to sing "Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes" (the number of minutes in a non-leap Gregorian calendar year). The main instruments used throughout the song are piano, vocals, guitar, organ, bass and drums.
Both in the musical and in the 2005 film, the song is performed by the entire cast. The main question asked is, "How do you measure a year?" Various answers are suggested, from points of the day ("Daylights," "Sunsets," "Midnights,") to units of measure ("inches", "miles"), to everyday events ("cups of coffee") to more symbolic concepts ("laughter", "strife"). In the chorus, the song reaches the conclusion that love is the only proper measure of a year in a human life. In the stage production, the song is sung at the opening of the second act. The cast stands downstage in a straight line facing the audience.

The YouTube Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tCd7SKBDYg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcSDli-Byn8

The Lyrics:
Seasons Of Love
Songwriter: Larson, Jonathan D.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It's time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)
Remember the love
(You know that life is a gift from up above)
Remember the love
(Share love, give love, spread love)
Measure in love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love
Seasons of love
(Measure your life, measure you life in love)

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