a vida é boa, tá tudo certo.
a vida é boa, tá tudo certo.
there was a time that if you didn’t like The Beatles, I wouldn’t like you. it was a very formative band for me during childhood and teen years, and I still have fond memories with almost every song. I come back from time to time to hear specific tunes or go through an album track by track. but: I don’t think it’s my favorite band nowadays, I respect your opinion if you don’t even care for them (and will be especially curious about this one, not that an explanation is necessary). The Beatles for me right now is related to that box of letters I exchanged in high school and that once a year (or once every two years) I go through with the intent to look back & understand who I was better, although I don’t stay this long without hearing it really. if I can’t decide what to hear, putting a Beatles record on will please me.
regardless of how often I hear their songs, the title of this post is a question I carry with me & ask myself frequently. I’m not certain when this question got stuck in my head, but as a kid it meant something serious, that said a lot about you depending on who you’d pick. and as I’ve gotten older, I always felt like the favorite Beatle was not a constant, but rather an indication of what kind of life phase I was going through.
up until I was 10, my favorite was Ringo. he was goofy looking and most people didn’t like him or simply ignored him, so that made me even more fond of him. also, it was my dream to play the drums when I was a kid, so he was a great reference [one day I’ll tell here the story of how dumbstruck I got when I discovered Karen Carpenter played the drums because A GIRL PLAYING DRUMS IS MAGICAL]. other things that made me pick him: he had big nose & eyes, which back then I interpreted as being sincere (I was a kid, ok? give me a break); my dad had this LP and every time I saw the cover it made me laugh; he seemed like a care free person. I don’t remember the exact time my favorite Beatle changed, but the big nose thing remained a constant because…
…enter John. well, now I’m in my teen years, so it would make sense that the “rebel” Beatle would fit into this phase, right? the thing about John that made me fall for him was that he gave me a purpose & a certainty even if he wasn’t that certain about something – somehow his doubts made me accept my own. all those protests and talk about capitalism were fascinating as well, but it was also his downfall in my eyes (in the sense that sometimes it felt like a stunt, especially the Bed-In for Peace). the worst, though, was realizing how badly he treated his first wife (even hitting her), that weird period he separated from Yoko and slept with another woman & how he basically abandoned his child. I was slowly coming to terms that my fave was problematic and some of his enchantment was lost on me. what it felt like was that love that you later realize wasn’t that good to you. what I needed now was someone sweet, that could show me what love truly was – and who else?
Paul. look at him! dashing! non-threatening! a gentleman if I ever was interested in one. this was the phase I was a proud Paul fanatic. what a guy, I thought. this is the mind behind Silly Love Songs, which to this day is one of the most soothing songs I can think of – it shows how he appreciated the simple & universal stuff and took it to another level, one where you thought: how the hell have I never thought of this before? and he puts into songs, amazing & well crafted songs – like My Love, No More Lonely Nights (!), Let Me Roll It, Maybe I’m Amazed, etc.
beyond that, his relationship with Linda was such an inspiration – all I wanted was for someone to fall for me & that i could fall as hard as those two were for each other. they were what I thought/felt that a married couple should be, and I am not sure if I can elaborate beyond that. if john & yoko represented that ‘love at first sight’ that turns into crazy passion and you let go of everything you’ve ever had before, paul & linda seemed to me like that person you meet and slowly starts to fill every thought you have, a soothing kind of love that equals to breakfast in bed. it reminds me of that (fake buddhist idea) on a tumblr text post about how when you meet the love of your life, you’re very calm (regardless of it not really being buddhist, it’s a sentence I enjoy).
life passed by & I started to wonder if Paul wasn’t too sweet for me – I almost fell like I didn’t deserve him – I was heartbroken & needed alone time, some guidance, maybe; although Paul remains in my heart way more present than the two previous ones, the last Beatle taught me about looking inwards & taking better care of me; he showed me the importance of realizing who I wanted to be and how to achieve it, I’m talking about…
George. the so-called “quiet Beatle”, he indeed always felt mysterious (mystic even) to me. although I’ve always considered him one of the best guitarrist ever, it took me a long time to pay attention to his song writing talents. when I first heard “You Know What To Do” I cried; it was one of the songs I played the most when I used to play the guitar. I love this song with all my heart. what George offered me, and still does since he is currently my favorite Beatle (remember this can change at any time), was a perspective of human suffering without taking out its enchantments; George’s musicality shows me balance through it all, good & bad in life.
he always gave me the impression that he wasn’t in it for the fame (like John) or even that he was particularly impressed or at ease with the attention (like Paul). listening to his solo career songs, they seem full of a yearning to understand the world around him. when he talks about love, it’s caring and tender, in a way that does not indicate in the slightest that he was able to translate such a nuanced feeling into song, although he does try. another feeling his songs give me constantly is that the process, the path, is so more important than the final result & that All Things Must Pass. amen.
it seems incredible that you can experience both wanting to die and wanting to live in just a few hours – it probably happens more often than i can recall. yesterday morning, i started therapy with “to be honest, if a car or a bus hit me, i am not sure if i would mind”. i had given up – heaviness, emptiness, sadness, it was all there. the place i know too well, i guess.
but as i was talking about everything, how it felt to be this bad and what made me get there, things started connecting. remembering of my brother and how he died, talking about the possibility of my parents getting a divorce and what that could mean in terms of my independence. i think those were the main issues, the big heavy ones that permeated the whole session.
2 hours later, i was able to, even wanting to die before, to pick survival and to save a life.
i feel i am getting closer and closer to discovering who i really am and what i am looking for.
sometimes it is too much. like there’s nothing I can do to stop. being loved is overwhelming; feeling unworthy of that love brings guilt. it’s the way a song you hate plays at the supermarket but you hum to it anyway, because you’re just there and what else can you do – it’s not that bad after all, especially considering where you are and the line in front of you. it’s the way you call to say you remembered them today, that you are just wondering what they are doing – you don’t want to say that you love them, because calling already is effort enough. and then you get stuck with a question: how many suffering can they go through? just say it already. they are old; every time you call them you think: will this be the last time? of course you’re not wishing it, but a piece of you thinks that if you ask this every time, it will make you feel not as bad when it actually happens. you predicted it; you sensed it. you did what you could do. you called them some days before and you said you loved them.
sometimes it is too much. like the way a old woman starts a conversation for no reason at all. she tells you that she sings in a choir. how nice. she notices your instrument. she compliments you: that’s so good that you are in touch with art. I answer, a little ashamed that I am probably not even half as connected as I want to/could be – well, it’s what gets me going. some people get emotional when seeing children. I cry on bus rides, among strangers, when seeing elderly people. I really give a great cry – I do that thing where you try to hold back; so you get teary eyed, one tear coming down each time; red nose and puffy face. it’s nothing, don’t worry. there’s something in my eye. I actually think I am allergic to this perfume I am wearing. yeah, I should definitely throw that out. or, you know, give to someone not allergic. it’s a shame because it was a gift. a shame, indeed.
listening while writing: The Beatles Black Album from Boyhood
some things I learned exactly one year ago:
– you can sense a lot from a person by doing nothing except holding their hand and looking them in the eyes.
– it’s great when there’s the feeling of being completely honest and trusting that, at least for a moment, things can be okay.
– when things beyond your control are good, trust your guts and go all in to make the situation even better.
– always speak from your heart.
– there will come a moment when you’ll feel that nothing that has happened before was wrong because it led you to what is happening now. it is the most powerful thing in the world.
listening while writing: The Beatles – Something
my dear inner kid,
it’s been a while since I checked up on you, because I was so worried about myself. I haven’t been very strong or proud of my actions. kid, I feel like I don’t exist.
and I wanted to apologize for abandoning you; for not taking care of you; for not kissing your forehead; for not applying medicine on your grazed knee; for not putting a band-aid on it;
I did not sing you to sleep or held you tight. I did not look in your eyes once this past month to say: everything will be okay. part of me didn’t believe it would and that is why I thought that I would only be lying to you.
but the truth is: the more I take care of you, kid, the more I confirm my existence. Yesterday I tuck you into bed at 10, after a long shower. we woke up together at 5 with the wind blowing strong through the windows. you were scared. I was too.
for some minutes, I just stayed there thinking: we won’t be able to sleep anytime the wind blows and I can’t control the weather. I went beyond: I thought how stupid I was for not checking the windows before moving, how expensive it would be to fix it, how irresponsible and dumb I was – I went to the blackhole of negative things.
and then you asked me to discover what was happening. I got up and realized where it was all coming from: the window wasn’t locked. it was causing so much noise; forcing me to stay awake, thinking bad things about myself.
I did not belittle my worries from moments before, nor did I gave myself a speech about how long it took me to get up, how ‘simple’ it was to solve. I just gave myself a pat on the back for trying.
right now, I see my life exactly like this morning: there’s so much noise that I can’t concentrate, I feel very scared and that I can’t diminish it. and I thought: I am responsible for locking the windows of my life, to protect you & me from the wind.
I promise, kid, I will take better care of you. I will make us sandwiches and drink chocolate milk; I will pay more attention to animals and show you them; I will tell you stories; we will color together and we will water the little plants on our window; we will dance barefoot on our tiny apartment; we will watch the stars from the roof;
I want us to see the possibilities out there, the most attainable ones first, so that I can slowly build confidence.
just please, remind me every second how important it is to try and that it is worth it to be tender. we will work together so that I never lose hope or become skeptical, no matter how much noise is out there.
listening while writing: The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun