I woke up early, with Freddie Mercury on the brain; his resonant voice echoing inside my mind.
“Is this the real life…? ”
Freddie and I have never been particularly close so his presence was curious. I was a bit embarrassed to to have felt visited by him, or at least visited by the energy that he embodies. Freddie Mercury – bold, brazen, impressive, self assured, diva. It felt as if I have something to learn from him. And, of course, to hear Bohemian Rhapsody as if it was plugged directly into my brain… Jeez. The power ballad that puts all others power ballads to shame. Yet, it was only the first 3 lines I heard this morning, over and over.
I got out of bed and communed with Freddie in the shower. The steaming water hit my chilled body. I closed my eyes and heard his voice, “Is this just fantasy caught in a landslide?” I thought about Queen. Brilliant band birthed at precisely the right place and time as if plotted on some universal timeline. They came to life unashamed. Unafraid. Creatively real in a fake, judgmental, square-pants world. Freddie was all up in your face with his bitchy brazenness. Like a bad-ass Elton John. “No escape from reality…”
I tend to be an open minded, accepting person. I pride myself on this. Yet, when reflecting on my life recently I am surprised by my own intolerance for certain human traits. To be specific, I am experiencing a serious lack of compassion for apprehensive lifestyles. Well, to but it more plainly – pussies. People who cant muster the courage to be themselves/do what feels true/act as they deeply desire. People who know how they want to live, but instead of stepping into the light, they self-suffocate in the darkness of guilt, shame and self-loathing; emotions that do not even belong to them. Emotions stemming from beliefs passed down from a long line of guilty, shameful, self-loathing loved ones. But, in the midst of my pointing fingers, I am left wondering if I can live up to my own ideals?
When Queen was in their hight of popularity I was in grade school. My newly divorced father played Queen’s hits (on vinyl of course) on his high-end turntable, through a pair of ginormous speakers while my brother and I pawned over album covers. Dad lived in an apartment decorated with potted cactus plants, behind the Tower Records off of Sunset Blvd. It was the 70’s, man. Even little kids like me could feel the sexuality that slithered around us as our parents tried to make sense of their own revolution. I can only imagine the inner warfare that must have torn at people back then, battling between being one’s true self and the self you were expected to be.
“So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye? So you can love me then leave me to die? Oh, baby. Can’t do this to me baby. Just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here.”
A wise voice recently reminded me that there are moments of grace when we are awakened to our own silenced, desperate longing. We suddenly feel compelled to move our unfulfilled, dim lives into light. But we freeze and are unable to step gracefully. These moments require a deep letting go. We must shed our pride, get down on our knees, and crawl from the shadows. Sometimes, that’s what it takes for our true path to come into view. People in recovery know this. Our ego gets in the way of our soul.
The path to our real life is there, waiting for us to simply (but not so simple-ly) open ourselves to receive what we are desperate for. Like a baby crying to be held. We need to accept that goosebumps come when warmth touches cold. We will shiver and doubt our motives. But, boldness is its own reward.
The queen of Queen reminded me, “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…” I know that my path will not be found by judging the choices of others. We all need to shed our skin. What I am getting closer to, however, is who/how I want to be. The visual is not yet clear, but my passion for boldness is overwhelming. The ways in which I will enter the light, whether it will be by leaping or crawling through self-created mud, remains to be seen. But, I guess the point is, to get there. “Any way the wind blows…”
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide (no escape from reality)
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, (poor boy) I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me
Mama, I just killed a man
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun… But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Didn’t mean to make you cry, if I’m not back again this time tomorrow,
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come, sent shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time
Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go. Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.
Mama, ooooooh. (Way the wind blows)
I don’t wanna die, I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all…. So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you can love me then leave me to die?
Oh, baby. Can’t do this to me baby? Just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here.Oooooh. Oh yeah Oh yeahNothing really matters.
Anyone can see.
Nothing really matters…… Nothing really matters….
(Any way the wind blows)