Sunday, January 2, 2011

If Life was an iPod

I never use the shuffle on my iPod. It makes absolutely no sense why I would want the songs to play out of the order I originally placed them in. I allow songs to illicit emotional responses from me when I need them. Some songs put me in a different state of mind, some for reading, some for being at the gym, some for listening to in the car.

All the songs I listen to have a special meaning. Who I was with when I heard it, or a time in my life that is associated with a certain brand of music. Kind of like Christmas Carols are for Christmas.

So it occurred to me, if I use that shuffle feature it would disjoint the events and responses that I am looking for at that specific time. I know what you’re thinking – Just make a play list Craig and select that to play THOSE songs. Well I would, but my iPod is old and doesn’t have that feature. Besides, I would rather hate to change it for another iPod when I love it so very much.

And that got me to thinking about how much we hate change. Most of the time you would expect to see change as something we look forward to and anticipate. But it’s not. Change is scary. One minute Roxette is telling you to listen to your heart and the next minute nSync is screaming bye bye baby. And you think to yourself how the crap did nSync get on here? Was that in my library? Was it in my wife’s? Who would do that to me? But you see it’s too late. Your rhythm is off and the plan that you had of having Shiny Toy Guns sing Major Tom to you is gone, and you are stuck. Even if you switch songs by now the fruity bubblegum pop sounds of a boy band are stuck in your cranium.

And there was nothing you could do about it. Sometimes life appears to be the same way in an oversimplified context. We all have plans that we want to stick to, they look great on paper. Then, life throws in John Tesh, and you are like…what the crap. There John Tesh is playing along, and even though he doesn’t mean any harm you listen and say, dude….you were a host next to Mary Hart, Where is my Entertainment Tonight?

Let me put it in another completely off the wall illustration from a fictional story that doesn’t matter much. In Lord of The Rings, after the Hobbits destroy the ring and make it back to the shire, something happens to the lead character Frodo. He’s changed by his journey. The events that occurred in his life had, well, changed his life from super death metal play list to Enya. He had changed, even though others around him had changed in their own way to, they didn’t grow how he had.

Let’s take a quick look at how that all went down shall we?


Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now

finished. Here at last, on the shores of

the sea, comes the end of our Fellowship.


GANDALF (cont'd)

I will not say: "do not weep", for not all

tears are an evil.

GANDALF (cont'd)

It is time, Frodo.



What does he mean?



We set out to save the Shire, and it has

been saved ... but not for me . . .



You don't mean that - you can't leave.

SAM looks down . . . FRODO is holding BILBO'S RED

JOURNAL out towards him.


The last pages are for you, Sam.


FRODO hugs MERRY and PIPPIN, and last of all SAM . . . and

climbs on board the SHIP a look of WONDERMENT crosses his face . . . as


released from his pain, care falls from his face . . . he is

the young FRODO we first met so long ago.

SAM, MERRY and PIPPIN comfort each other as the WHITE SHIP

glides away from the DOCK ...

The WHITE BOAT sails away towards the HEADLANDS,

disappearing into the GOLDEN LIGHT of the SETTING SUN.

SAM in growing darkness, still follows the

departing SHIP with his eyes, MERRY and PIPPIN are already

preparing to leave.

SAM walks up the path towards his house . . .

A LITTLE GIRL toddles up to greet him.



He hugs his daughter . . .

FRODO Voice Over

My dear Sam. You cannot always be torn in

two. You have to be one and whole for many

years. You have so much enjoy and to be and

to do. Because Sam, your part in the

journey goes on.

ROSIE COTTON steps up and kisses SAM on the cheek

. . . she gives him a TINY BABY BOY to cradle.

SAM with his FAMILY . . . he draws a deep breath:


Well ... I'm back.

SAM looks at his LOVELY FAMILY with GREAT HAPPINESS, tinged

with a little SADNESS . . .

Frodo made a major life change, and it affected, well, everyone. But it mostly affected Sam. Sam had been with him the whole journey step for step.

People who walk so long together begin to build predictability in their steps. A huge change like this is often unaccounted for. And often unwelcome.

Our perception on friendships is that a constant effort must be made for the relationship to continue. In some cases this is true. I had two great friends in College. After I was married and had my first daughter, I lost contact with both of them and haven’t talked with either person for 12 years or so. These are people I walked on many journeys with in growing up and becoming a man. And they were both gone.

My perception on friends is now a bit different. Friendship is something that is at the same time both temporal and everlasting. I may not always have my friend near me, but I will always have the friendship.

And when they do leave, to quote a fictional Gandalf “I will not say: "do not weep", for not all tears are an evil.”

Sometimes, you are Fordo, sometimes you are Sam. And sometimes, John Tesh creeps in when you know CCR was up next.