“There’s a bathroom on the right…”
This is not the lyric, but it’s so commonly misheard in the same way that John Fogerty, lead singer of the now-defunct band Creedence Clearwater Revival, oft’ used to do a verse or two “wrong.” For the purists, the chorus is “there’s a bad moon on the rise,” and the song is of course “Bad Moon Rising.” It’s a karaoke favorite I always bust out whenever my Dad lets me drag him to the bar. (Side note: he still says, in his Bronx accent, “I can’t believe I’m at a bahr with my daw-tah.” I have had a partner for more than a decade, a car, and a house, and have been legal for more than two decades. Oh, parents! He’s a good sport, letting me sing, nursing his beer.)
Seal, another favorite artist of mine, purposefully does not include lyrics in the inserts of tapes and CDs. It apparently is paramount to him that the listener interpret as they see fit, and not be influenced by what he’s actually crooning. (In some senses, perhaps listeners personalize their listening experience, depending on where they are in life, and would be disappointed to hear the penned words.) It’s been said that happy people listen to the melody and sad people listen to the words. Hm…This does not apply to me since I usually hear both. For fun, if a song has several parts, the CD gets rewound and the track repeated again and again and again ’til they’ve all been practiced. What a hoot! Good thing I commute solo…
My Mom was a professional singer, performing at weddings, in clubs, and various other affairs. She didn’t know all the words! (Of course, if people are a bit in their cups, neither do they.) She communicated with her voice, her passion, her authenticity. Eyes closed, head thrown back, it was all laid bare. Whether she was singing in someone else’s language, or her own, she communicated. She still does, just not professionally anymore.
I’m sure we all remember that silly internet argument with what color the dress was. Or we’ve all seen the optical illusions – like the “is it a duck or is it a rabbit?” illustration.
My innocence was a bit besmirched when, yeeeeeears later, I found out what the words for Extreme‘s “More than Words” *really* meant. Yowza! It was a song I had with a boy 100 years ago. Still brings back good memories though. Lemme have this one as I am consciously choosing to put that genie back in the bottle 🙂
Seems there are seven stages in the communication process: sender, encoding, channel, decoding, receiver, feedback, and context. It is easy enough to get derailed at any point along the continuum.
The sender is the one who wants to communicate. They must take into account their message, and make sure it’s useful and correct.
What channels do you use to communicate? I send a lot of text messages because it’s faster. In public, we currently wear masks, so the eyes become ever more important. How you communicate is almost-if-not-more important than how you’re received. We must speak the same language…no! We must speak in the same way. Take a pause, take a breath. Maybe summarize for the person to make sure you’re on the right page before plundering ahead blindly. Believe the best in people until given ample evidence to the contrary.
Decoding is just as fraught as encoding. We hear what we want to hear, if we’re even paying attention at all. Most of us are just waiting for our turn to talk.
What does this have to do with Yoga? Everything. Every breath, every movement, every choice, every non-action is a dance of sorts with whoever’s around, even when you practice by yourself. Reread that: I’ll wait.
How can we quiet the citta vriti, or the seemingly-endless “mind chatter” in Sanskrit? For me, it comes back to my mat. Sitting to meditate, or cranking up the tunes to practice, or practicing unaccompanied with just the sound of my breath. We follow that breath, sometimes repeating “in” on the inhale, and “out” on the exhale. If AND WHEN you lose focus, start again. And again. And again.
This week’s title refers to ear worms which are the song snippets that endlessly loop in our heads. In Spanish, we call them “gluey” ’cause they stick in your head. What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Ha! Getting half a song lyric stuck in your head.
What lyrics have you misheard? Maybe yours are “better” based on where you’re at. “There’s seven steps to heaven, but that stairway’s just too steep,” Last Damn Night by Elle King. If you’re genuinely happy where you are, maybe that’s where you’re supposed to be and eff everything and everyone else.
If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.