Monday, April 18, 2011

One of those serious ones. Does anybody actually read this stuff?

Once upon a time, I got in  a car with my good friend Trevor Blair. He plugged in his ipod and on came Yentl, featuring the vocal goddess we sometimes refer to as Barbara Streisand. He asked if that was okay with me, and when I responded in the affirmative, he said, "Cause I've been listening to this a lot. I'm really sucked in to this show, and it's one of those times when I really don't have an opinion about anything else, you know what I mean?"

I'd never really heard it it expressed that way, and that was a new thought for me. But I think I understand what he meant. We all know that I am an insane obsessive compulsive person, right? So I have this problem with what my therapist used to call "concentric thinking". Which basically means that I am a female and I think in circles only on an exponential level and I can't turn it off. So a lot of the time I feel like I am stuck on the spinning teacups.

Realistically, I know that I am basically able to produce an opinion about anything (because I am solid Robinson, and that is what we do), but I do feel like there are times when I get stuck on an issue or a question that I have, and I don't have an opinion about anything else for a while. And these past months, I have been stuck on a few things. And, like Trevor, most of this centers around a show. This has happened several times. I've been completely engrossed in Phantom, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Doubt, UP, and of course Nickleby.  Only this time it's Aida, not Yentl. So this one song called Elaborate Lives has sparked some intense inner conversations with myself, and I have a lot of opinions, but not really any answers yet.

We all live such elaborate lives
Wild ambitions in our sights
How an affair of the heart survives
Days apart, and hurried nights
Seems quite unbelieveable to me
I don't want to live like that
Seems quite unbelievable to me
I don't want a love like that
I just want our time to be
Slower and gentler, wiser, free

We all live in extravagant times
playing games we can't all win
Unintended emotional crimes
take some out, take others in
too many choices tear us apart
I don't want to live like that
too many choices tear us apart
I don't want to love like that
I just want to keep your heart
May this confession be that start

I know you gave me courage to face what I must face
with all these complications in another time and place

we all lead such elaborate lives
we don't know whose words are true
 an affair of the heart survives
all the pain this world can do
strangers, lovers, husbands, wives,
hard to know who's loving who

Wow.  The whole thing just screams "divided loyalties" to me! Especially if you've seen the show. Quick rundown: Aida is a Nubian princess who is kidnapped and taken to Egypt by a captain named Radames who is engaged to the Pharoah's daughter, Amneris. Amneris loves Radames, who doesn't so much want to get married.  Aida is Amneris' servant, but she and Radames fall in love, surprise, surprise. So there's this intense love triangle going on. And their countries are also at war so there's all that crap that nobody has figured out.  And then things get really complicated when the Nubian King is kidnapped and brought to Egypt too. Long story short, Aida and Radames are tried for treason and buried alive, together.

Happy stuff, right? Amazing, and also maybe a little unnerving, how easily all these issues fit into our everyday lives. This is jam packed with some serious stuff. The parts especially about unintended emotional crimes, and the part where they say it's hard to know who's loving who, are things that I have thought a lot about. Strangers, lovers, husbands, wives. There are so many different kinds of love. So many, in fact, that a lot of the time it is kind of impossible to define a relationship. No two relationships are exactly the same. And all of us have hurt other people and been hurt by others. How do you deal with those unintended emotional crimes they are talking about? How do you deal with the emotional crimes that were not unintended especially? How do you decide where your loyalties are? How do you trust someone again after they've hurt you? Should you even try? If things don't turn out, was it worth it in the first place?

All I really know is that everybody has been damaged and let down sometime, and most of us have done some damage too. Relationships are valuable, even failed relationships. (A broken engagement is a successful engagement, right?) Life is complicated and elaborate and we have to do the best we can. In the meantime, I'll keep listening to Aida and thinking in circles.

what do you think? I think I think too much.

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