January 11, 2012

I Feel Fine

Something in the Way She Moves
lyrics/music by James Taylor

There's something in the way she moves,
Or looks my way, or calls my name,
That seems to leave this troubled world behind.
And if I'm feeling down and blue,
Or troubled by some foolish game,
She always seems to make me change my mind.

And I feel fine anytime she's around me now,
She's around me now
Just about all the time
And if I'm well you can tell she's been with me now,
She's been with me now quite a long, long time
And I feel fine.

It isn't what she's got to say
But how she thinks and where she's been
To me, the words are nice, the way they sound
I like to hear them best that way
It doesn't much matter what they mean
If she says them mostly just to calm me down

Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning
And I find myself careening
Into places where I should not let me go.
She has the power to go where no one else can find me
And to silently remind me
Of the happiness and the good times that I know...

If feeling troubled by something, with something which preoccupies the dark places of my own mind, "she is with me now... with me now for quite a long time", as the lyrics go, takes me to another plane.
As for the lyrics, some have said that the song was written as a result of drug use by the singer. But James Taylor himself reportedly has said he wrote the song as a young man about a person he was involved with. We can only listen to the song and perhaps guess where he went from there. Where have we all gone in our own lives, and in collective life as a community?

A long time ago I would have said he was my favorite singer, but as time has gone on, I think I have expanded my loves to include more than those few. Over time when confronted with life itself, like the traveling wise men in the christian story about the Messiah, the simple mind learns that there are more than just one love for a person in their life, more than just one sign indicating the way, that the facts prompting a story aren't always as important as how they are valued. We live a life over the long haul. How I saw things five or eleven years ago was the sum of my experiences up to that point; how I see things now is part wisdom and part of who I am today, as a result of what has come to me over the time of my life. "It isn't what she's got to say, but how she thinks or where she's been."

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