Pearl Jam.

Tuesday the new Pearl Jam album comes out. I’m doing what I do every time a new record comes out: wish that vinyl was still readily accessible and that vintage players weren’t so dammed expensive.

Also, I pay homage to Pearl Jam. I find out what they’ve been up to, watch videos of our last precious time together, and listen to all of their old records. I’m a huge Pearl Jam fan. But I’m not the Ten-Club membership holding, know all of the history type fan (though I would be if I had the cash and brain space). I just really really like their music. Pearl Jam’s lyrics could easily be the  soundtrack to my life.

I will do with this new album (I’m streaming it as to get an early start) what I’ve done with all of the previous: listen to it a million times. Unlike any other band, I do not tire of their music. I listen to it until it seemingly imprints itself onto my DNA. Until it’s embedded in my fat cells and until it’s lined my tear ducts. So that in times of great exertion or sadness or both, it’s there. Dripping from me in lyrics. Right now, I’m hearing:

“Oh, dear Dad, can you see me now?

I am myself. Like you somehow.

I wait up in the dark for you to speak to me.

I hold the pain. Release me.”

(Lyrics not in that order)

Carter asked me tonight what life would be like if his grandfather hadn’t passed away. I don’t know, I told him. I miss him a lot.

Pearl Jam has been the background music to my life. Given to Fly is the theme song to Casey’s autism.  The lyrics of “Unthought Known” swept through me as I held my daughter the day after she was born when my OB told me how sorry he was that her extra chromosome was “missed” during the pregnancy-

Look for love in evidence
That you’re worth keeping
Swallowed whole in negatives
It’s so sad and sickening

Feel the air up above
Oh, pool of blue sky
Fill the air up with love
All black with starlight

Feel the sky blanket you
With gems and rhinestones!!!
See the path cut by the moon
For you to walk on

The other day at Casey’s field trip as I was trying to step past my own selfish sadness, I made this:

Pearl Jam

So tonight I’m working the music, mood and lyrics through me.  The first time I heard the single “Sirens,” I actually had to turn it off. My heart beat out of my chest and I felt overcome. It starts, “Hear the sirens, hear the sirens…” Eddies voice, as if a quiet hypnotist, swiftly took me to  to the place where I hide my pain. Where the trauma lives and breathes and works its way out in sputters and coughs or in downright illness. I’ve spent too much time listening to the sirens of ambulances from their insides.

Hear the sirens, hear the sirens
Hear the sirens, hear the circus so profound
I hear the sirens more and more in this here town
Let me catch my breath to breathe then reach across the bend
Just to know we’re safe, I am a grateful man
This light is pit, alive and I can see you clear
Oh, I could take your hand, and feel your breath
For feel that someday will be over
I pull you close, so much to lose
With a Truman Show-esque narcissism, I could fully believe these words were written for me. How many times have I heard the sirens screeching out to the world around, blaring the pain I felt ripping through me as I held my daughter’s hand and worshiped the struggling breath I felt coarse its way through her constricted chest and obstructed airways?

  Empathy in prose. Understanding in pain. Lyrics formed to suit my existence.

Yes, this post is akin to Lukin-type fan drudgery, but it is real to me. Music works in ways that words do not. I’m jealous of those that have the ability to emote in such a way that the experiences become shared, no matter how differently they are lived.

One thought on “Pearl Jam.

  1. Its beautiful when a complete stranger can make you feel so much and take you back to those fond memories, good and bad. 🙂

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