Like so many other youths, I awakened to music as a teenager. That’s about the age when the questions start, and some must seek the answers. But one is young, and sometimes she does not know where to look. People who surround her, if she’s lucky, guide her gently on the journey of discovery. Not push. Guide.
The impetus for my quest was pain. Why am I to suffer? Why was I given this life, as opposed to another? Why am I here? Theories abound on these, and they manifested themselves in my search for understanding.
What gave me solace? The Magnificat, the words of my patron Saint, Mary, Mother of the Savior did.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked with favor on His humble servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed, the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit. he has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and His children for ever. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to eh Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Though my soul was bereft, sometimes even my spiritual mother eluded me. Her words were 2000 years old. She never appeared to me, though I secretly wished she would. Maybe she would tell me what I needed to know – that everything would be ok because the reason I am here is….
Music, however, was not ancient. Specifically, progressive rock, which was still on the rise as I came of age. It was tangible and palpable because I could hear the singers’ voices, not with my spirit, but with my ears. My real, tangible ears. The modern bards gave me some sort of answer, and even though it was not what I wanted to uncover, it did give me a modicum of comfort.
“You were meant to be here from the beginning.”
Greg Lake wrote those words when he was a young man. When interviewed about his song “From the Beginning,” he did not know whence came the inspiration. I would bet it just bubbled up from all the questions.
There might have been things I missed, but don’t be unkind. It don’t mean I’m blind. Perhaps there’s a thing or two I think of lying in bed I shouldn’t have said, but there it is.
You see, it’s all clear. You were meant to be here from the beginning.
Maybe I might have changed and not been so cruel, not been such a fool. Whatever was done is done. I just can’t recall. It doesn’t matter at all.
You see, it’s all clear. you were meant to be here from the beginning.
Neither those words nor any others ever really answered my most preponderant question: Why am I here? The only way my thinking brain or my craving spirit can respond is that all was meant to be from the beginning, even this being. This is the songwriters’ non-answer that validates my discovery that sometimes enlightenment means that one must be content to remain in the dark.
Fast forward forty years and I can see the mistakes I’ve made along the way. I have been a fool sometimes, too. Like the singer, I ask to be judged not too harshly because no one can erase the past. If one is lucky she gets the chance to reshape her life. I should qualify that previous statement with “maybe” because it’s not our place to have control over such things as looming as life. Either way, one truth remains.
I will have to be satisfied with not knowing why.