Friday, July 10, 2009

Black Metals and Pearls

Come on children

You're acting like children
Every generation thinks
its the end of the world

And all ya fat followers
Get fit fast
Every generation thinks it's the last
thinks its the end of the world*

Certainly the hard times have been magnified and our politicians have blackened our eyes here in the Magic Mitten. I can't figure out if this outstretched hand we live in is a "Come take advantage of us some more, we can't help being suckers." or a "Please help us, we are desperate." My husband, as did many others, lost his dream job last year and our 5-7 year plan has grown to a 7-10 year plan. Recently on the road to Chicago, using up the very last of his travel bonus points, we dug into our Wilco CDs, anticipating a new kindle from Tweedy. When I heard the lyrics to the bands newest release, I could not help but think of where my husband is in his career.

Yes dream down a well
There's a lone heavy hell
I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore
It's a feeling we transcend
We're here at the end
I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore
You never know

You can pretty much track his career by the transitions in advertising media technology. He began his career as a keyliner and then came desktop publishing. He became a producer as a result and now even that has been digitized by job tracking systems on the client and vendor side. He's not sure what to do next, and his realism transitions like the lyrics of the song. The childhood dream of living The Dick Van Dyke Show is just a worn-out, jaded fantasy. Looking for meaning in the second half of his life, he wants someone to believe in him, to give him a message that there is something to do and have the faith in him to complete this unknown vocation.

Many women have been in my position over the past year or so: bringing home the bacon, frying it in a pan and not being able to let your spouse forget he's a man. At times, the stress ends up thick around your middle in more cortysol and less portion control. It is not all that fun and freeing for yourself nor the man sitting at home. That Laura Petrie character from the show is a fascinating artifact that should be documented in a museum. I want to tell her that her fancy of women's liberation will only end in this year of 2009 in a screwed up economy of women holding on to jobs for the sheer fact that corporations have gotten away for decades with paying them less and that men like Rob will be left behind. Men need this architypal sense of vocation for the sake of their masculinity, and I respect this need. I really want my husband to feel like the world needs him again.

Francis Ford Coppola used to work as a youngster at a Western Union office in Italy. He would paste the telegraphed messages to cardboard and deliver them on his bicycle. In a recent issue of Esquire magazine, he told the story of how he did something terrible to his father out of love.

"...I knew the name of the head of Paramount Pictures' music department — Louis Lipstone. So I wrote, "Dear Mr. Coppola: We have selected you to write a score. Please return to L. A. immediately to begin the assignment. Sincerely, Louis Lipstone." And I glued it and I delivered it. And my father was so happy. And then I had to tell him that it was fake. He was totally furious... I know why I did it: I wanted him to get that telegram. We do things for good reasons that are bad."

I want my husband to get a communication like that message, that someone to believes in him and has faith in him to complete this unknown vocation. I want him to get that message so badly that it came up physically in my yoga practice, as tension that had built up in my body, which I let go as prayer. Yet I know that message can only be un-buried from within himself. We all have to at the end of all of this ruination to find the God-given strength to believe in ourselves more than we believe in the American Dream.

I had stopped by the book store before my yoga class to pick up a book for my husband. It was a manual to get him started on something new that I hope will keep him a few steps ahead. I want to let him know with strains of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" in my heart that it is not the end of the world because, well, you never know.

Come on kids
You're acting like children
Act your age
Put back the black metals and pearls
All ya sword-swallowers pull yourselves together
Every generation thinks its the worst
Thinks it's the end of the world

It's a secret I can't tell
There's a wish down a well
I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore
It's a long heavy hell
Super-size it by 10
I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore
You never know
You never know


* You Never Know by Wilco (click to listen)

No comments: