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A Lifetime in a Year

The Slow Rush cassette design/ via Reddit

It was my first concert. Of course I was in the nosebleeds. And in all honesty…I wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

The lights dimmed until it got dark and then on a bright white screen a nurse appeared. She guided me through my first dose of Rushium cautioning me that the effects could range from “a minor expansion to large time collapses staged within memory and the effective present.” As she shifted out of focus into a burst of pulsating colors, the Gregorian Robot Choir, like the rumbling of thunder from a far-off storm, echoed the words “one more year…” It reminded me of my days as a boy at Sunday Mass and the deep sounds of the organ reverberating off of the stone walls of the old Catholic church. 

The drums rode the hi-hat for the first few seconds as Kevin Parker walked on stage, and then, just like that, the bass drum kicked in and restarted our pulses. 

“DC! How you guys going? Everybody feeling good?” The Aussie accent floated over the cascading roar of the crowd. 

“Do you remember we were standing here a year ago…?”

***

I had listened to The Slow Rusha year prior when it came out just as COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head. My sister had been the one to first tell me that he was dropping a new album at the time, and she was the one who got tickets to his Rushium Tour as a gift shorty thereafter. The pandemic caused the tour to be delayed, and even though it wasn’t the original plan for me to go with her, things turned out that way as September 23, 2021 drew closer. 

“One More Year” was on repeat on my playlist for a solid week after the concert. All of Tame Impala’s material was in general, but there was something about that particular song that struck a chord with me (good one, I know). 

I had never looked at the lyrics before except for the chorus. I had always been caught up in the music and just appreciated the harmony of the voices. So imagine when I read the lyrics and found out that Parker was talking about hitting the year mark in his recent marriage. When the Rushium Tour hit DC I was approaching my own one year anniversary. 

And as the concept of the song revealed itself to me, I realized that I could fully and appreciate what he was communicating. 

The past year had opened up a new window into an understanding of myself which had been closed to me before. I honestly believe that marriage is more of an introspective experience with one’s self than it is getting to know the other person. My wife has been a mirror for me and the highs and lows of both the peaks and mundane have constantly reflected who I was, who I am, who I am becoming, and who I am aspiring to be. 

As the poet Khalil Gibran wrote:

“And stand together yet not too near together: 

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow

not in each other’s shadow.”

Read this along Parker’s lines:

“I never wanted any other way to spend our lives.

I know we promised we’d be doing this ‘til we die.

And now I I fear we might.

Oh, now I fear we might. 

But it’s ok, I think there’s a way. 

Why don’t we just say one more year?”

One can choose to read this through a pessimistic – or borderline fatalistic – lens, but I choose to interpret it in a more positive way. And that is the key: choice. 

I agree with the sentiment that we must make the choice, every day, to love. We, through the vows of matrimony, choose and agree to walk side by side with our significant other, while understanding that our individual paths must also be traversed. We are there to support, carry, and help guide those who we share our most honest selves with while simultaneously acknowledging that we cannot live their lives for them, nor allow them to live ours at the expense of their own. 

And to add Parker’s concluding stanza:

“I never wanted any other way to spend our lives. 

Now one of these is gonna be the last for all time.

For all time. 

One more year.”

Why not live and enjoy and experience this beautiful journey, this true labor of love, one year at a time? Because one day it will end. Whether it is before we wish or when it is time to enter the stage that awaits us on the other side of this corporeal life as we understand it. When we look to the horizon of year to year we place more value in the days that we have. We exercise more patience, more compassion, more wisdom, and ultimately more of ourselves. 

I tripped off of Rushium…and I’m glad I did. 

One more year…

A whole year…

“Fifty-two weeks.

Seven days each. 

Four seasons, one reason. 

One way, one year. 

From today…”

To Our Time Together (by Vladimir Kush)/ via Vladimirkush.com

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