Perfect World remains one of more the popular songs in my repertoire. One thing I like about this tune is mostly requested by men. At first this surprised me, given it’s overall sensitive-guy-Cat-Stevensish sound. Of course the male first-person point of view has a lot to do with that. But it features some rights of passage that we all experience universally: the wonderful feeling of freedom that comes from separating from our parents, and the inevitable pain of innocence lost.
The joy of that sense of freedom when first striking out on our own is heady stuff, downright intoxicating. It’s a world of endless possibilities and tremendous potential. That’s a feeling that leaves strong memories and footprints in our souls. I can easily go back to my own Perfect Worlds because I still carry them with me. But it goes hand in hand with a sense of loss, that there’s truly no going home again; that our moments of sweet perfection can never really last. That’s surely one of the things that makes those times in our lives so precious; the impermanence. But that’s hindsight talking. In the heat of the moment, when our perfect worlds come crashing down (and they always do) it’s a big ass bucket o’ no-fun-at-all. Once Bobby starts ringing Lyla’s bell, tasting the proverbial forbidden fruit, it’s adios Garden of Eden and welcome to the cold cruel world. Go put yer fig leaf on kid. It’s time to take the garbage out.
I won’t go into my own experiences that spark these memories. We all have them. They become part of our emotional baggage that we take with us everywhere we go. Without that baggage, this story would never come out..
These days I’m pondering my baggage while living in Singapore. I’m around a lot of Buddhism here. There’s lots of reflecting about impermanance, suffering, and the letting go. And as my“mid-life” starts coming to a close and I find myself speeding out of control toward being downright elderly, I’d like to lighten up a little. Therein lies the rub, ‘cus we often need that baggage to get to the heart of the song.
How do I keep my baggage close without holding on to it too tightly? I’m still working that puzzle out. But I’ll tell ya one thing. I’m getting better all the time at enjoying my IMperfect world. That’s some progress.