What About Us?

“What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
What about us?
What about all the broken happy ever afters?
Oh, what about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
Oh, what about love? What about trust?
What about us?”

These words are the bridge or the refrain, if you will of Pink’s latest big hit on her new album “Beautiful Trauma”, which pretty well sums up what life is all about. Now if you are wondering what the bridge is, I will tell you. I took a half a day song writing workshop a few years ago from John and Michele Law and learned two things: the lyrics of a song is poetry in action; and a bridge is “often used to contrast with and prepare for the return of the verse and the chorus.” (Wikipedia)
We all know what a physical (even metaphorical) bridge is. It connects two things and makes them whole. And that is what Pink’s bridge is in her song “What About Us?” She was on Good Morning America this morning and said that she does not like giving a song meaning, because the words speak to each person individually. She said that the song was originally about how the government has let people down, but that a friend of hers thought it bespoke of love. (Obviously not a happy ending to this love story.)
I have had a few more decades on this earth than Pink can claim, and I understand the misgivings, the disappointments, and the loss of trust. But then again, I no longer really expect that the government of any country, state, province, or even municipality has the answers—nor do I depend on them for those answers. Call me a pessimist, but I think I am pragmatic. I think that government officials want to provide the answers, want to do their best for us, and give us what we need. But they cannot. And they cannot for many, many reasons—some good, some bad.
I think that “broken happy ever afters” and “plans that ended in disaster” are part of life, but I am not one of those people who is content to believe that “it is what it is.” Sometimes, yes, we have to accept “what is” but we get to work with it, around it, or through it. I understand that our hands are tied on occasion, but we have to find a way to unknot the “ties that bind”. This may seem foolish, and at times there is no going back— but we have to keep moving forward or we are stuck.
I have been stuck in the muck and mire and have attempted (with varying degrees of success) to pull myself out of certain situations. Some situations are of my own making, but we have all had to contend with situations that we really did not have a hand in, but have to deal with anyway. And that Sucks, with a capital S.
We can look for outside help, after all “no man (or woman) is an island”, but we have to recognize that we cannot always be rescued by someone or something else, at least not on this plane of existence. I am not a big believer in “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” as I am aware that bootstraps can snap. But faith, if you have it, can be a great thing to fall back on. I have a faith in something I cannot see, verify, touch, or avoid questioning, but for some reason I still maintain it.
I have trouble advocating faith in something greater than I am but that does not mean I do not have faith. It is an uneasy coupling. My rational self cannot quite be convinced, but my self that wants to believe, believes. I know there are people who have an undying and unquestioned faith. I am not among your ranks. I am from the “what if” school of thought, not willing to close the door.
How I ended up talking about faith when I started out talking about “bridges” is perhaps cyclical in nature. Bridges are connections, and I guess my imperfect faith is how I stay connected to a beautifully traumatic world. Anyway, I promise to lighten up a bit in my next column. Thanks for listening….

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Published in: on October 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm  Comments (3)