Tonight I went to a concert, and a couple of songs moved me to the point that it brought me to tears. I was a little surprised I guess. I don't think of myself as a particularly physically emotional person. Certain things can trigger me, usually positive things, to choke up, but it's a rare occasion. They weren't sad songs- or particularly happy songs even. I didn't cry because I was sad. Happiness is closer I guess, but not quite right. I think I was mostly just moved by the power of the human spirit in the light of all of the dark things that it encounters.
Every day a million people find a million ways to make their lives better or more interesting. They write rock and roll songs. Sometimes those songs are about dark and unsettling things, and they conjure up that power in order to take control of it. Sometimes they are songs that attempt to describe in earnest impossible, unrealistic, indescribable love, knowing that they can't ever get there but god damn it, they're going to try. They write jokes. Sentences that exist for no reason other than to share with someone else and trigger pleasure centers in their brains. They go on road trips. They build towers, bridges, dig holes. They launch things into space, sometimes in the face of near-certain death. They create things because they don't exist and something inside of them needs to manifest itself into something that they can share with the rest of the world. And above all: they love.
They love family. They love countries, cities, homes. They love characters in tv shows and movies and songs and romance novels. They love the way a guitar chord sounds when it's heavily distorted or completely clean on nylon strings and the only way their body can react is by jumping up and down and yelling. They love pets- they seek out other living creatures to put in their everyday life whose only purpose is to love and be loved. They love their partners. They love many partners, of all makes and models and genders we don't even have names for yet. They create children, which is arguably the only truly physical product of love, and they love them. They love the idea of love before it exists, and they love the memory of love once it's gone.
And they fight darkness. And they don't always win. And they cause pain for others, and they argue and they lie, and they abuse and they kill. And we'll never understand another person's darkness, despite our attempts to try and explain or rationalize away in order to feel like we understand and control the world. I can't deny that I felt an element of anger and darkness tonight too. Despite its irrationality, there is no way to stop it from showing up, you just have to have the tools to fight it when it gets there. I found myself thinking to those who have recently very publicly and very violently lost their personal battles- How dare you? How dare you bring your personal darkness, no matter how large, into the lives of others in this way?
Fuck you. I see your evil act and I raise you one million positive actions happening every second everywhere in the world, one of them being this group of people putting themselves out there by playing and singing this song together with all of their hearts while a thousand other people smile and clap and sing and dream and feel a million new things bubbling up inside of them.
All we individually can control is how much love (be it physical, creative, rational or irrational, abstract or concrete, instigatory or reactionary) we put into the world and hope that through our experiences, actions, and the things we create that we can help someone else in dark times, whether they know it or not, and whether they ask for it or not.
"Darkness can't drive out darkness. Only love can do that." - Matthew E. White