How is it that one song can stop us in our tracks—its allure inexplicably marvellous? The arts have their way with us like this. In 1965 the Mamas & the Papas brought us California Dreamin’, and although that was the year my parents married and I wasn’t born yet, I can’t help pine for that period of life, in context of the song.
Even though the lyrics are simple, reflecting the dreamy urge known to all of us, and the videography is very basic, as you’d expect back then, the melody and vocal harmonies have an inherently eternal quality to them. No wonder this song is number 89 on the Rolling Stone list, The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
We All Yearn
Although the lyrics in part don’t seem to make a lot of sense, the ‘spirit’ of the song encapsulates the longing we have to be in another place—and not simply another geographical place either.
It’s like the fact that we notice we’re estranged to life somehow—call it a sort of soul loneliness to concretise the concept I’m trying to relate.
This is the place we seek comfort, in the form of any number of things.
For instance, to be totally candid with you, of recent I’ve been playing the Bourne Series (Matt Damon) in the background as I write. The soundtrack is not just inspiring to me, but comforting also—it’s something I know and, at an inner subconscious level, it’s something I can acutely identify with, somehow. Again, mystery.
We All Search
Don’t we all search for our origins—where we’ve come from?
Especially those early pre-conscious years—from our memory’s perspective—are spiritually tantalising for us. We’d do almost anything to re-acquire the sweet tastes, salacious sounds and beautiful visions of our early childhood... oh, those colours!
And if we venture back far enough we can find a world, still there, that existed before we did.
How mysterious a concept is that?
We All Aspire
Life is about aspiration. For those scourged of the love of the mystery of their own being, I feel sad. Evil has robbed them of a possession all deserve to take hold of. It was never God’s will that this would happen. God grieves today, eternally, for the loss of the self in every shell-of-a-human-being.
At our most visceral soul-heart, we yearn, we search, we aspire.
Nothing can crush these eternal desires wired most directly into us—apart from the abject searing of a soul (which does, unfortunately, happen—the pathology known to life absolutely without God).
Most of all, any of us is capable of searching out—with God, our Maker—this golden triumph of personal identity. Our dreams truly await us, until that all-surpassing hope of heaven is realised, that is!—then a reality beckons all too marvellous for dreams.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.