I always thought of “Next Time Around” and “Goodbyes Are Sad” as being a tiny two act play. “Next Time Around” provides the conflict and betrayal; “Goodbyes Are Sad” provides the peace and resolution. This is probably because I had the vinyl single back in the days when that was the only way you could hear these songs. If I was going to go to all the effort to set up the record player to listen to the single, I was going to soak in those songs until my skin wrinkled. And so the story of these songs formed in my mind each time I flipped the record over.
Both songs sound otherworldly and out of time, like someone deliberately made the tape drag during the recording. Listening to them on vinyl added to that otherworldly effect (hey, this was back in the days when listening on vinyl was still exotic). I loved “Next Time Around” but, honestly, there was something in the song that made me unsettled. I craved the resolution in “Goodbyes Are Sad” and was relieved every time I flipped the record to that side.
When I think of this mini-drama I would feel flipping between the tension of “Next Time Around” to the calm of “Goodbyes Are Sad”, I notice that it mirrors what is happening in the world. We are stuck in the conflict now and I don’t know about you, but I am craving resolution.
One day you’ll find it’s here
Would you recognize the feel?
Feeling like I do
Like I do
Last time we talked about how one might not recognize their own anger. I made the case for feeling what you feel, allowing the anger to be what it is without marginalizing it by what you think you should feel. And since I wrote that, the country has exploded with anger. The country is feeling what it feels and it’s uncomfortable for all of us, but that’s how growth works. If you don’t work through the anger in some way, it will become malignant in time.
Is three days enough to heal
Is three days enough
To take in your healing like I do
Like I do
Anger is useful up to a point. There is a risk that you will hold onto it for too long and then it becomes dangerous. What will get me to hold on to anger is when a relationship ends badly and anger is the only living emotion left of that relationship. I can keep the relationship alive if only in my head by composing well articulated, take down rants that I can imagine that I might deliver at some future time if I happen run into that person again. As long as I am angry, as long as I rant in my head, I don’t have to deal with the reality that the relationship is over. I don’t have to deal with the sadness of grieving.
There is so much to grieve right now. People have lost loved ones. They have lost jobs. Small business owners are facing having to permanently shut their doors. Some of us have lost our belief in the country we thought we lived in, a country based on the principles of equality and fairness under the law. Others are reeling from seeing the social media posts of people they loved or respected and realizing that those people always had morally repugnant beliefs.
The reference to “three days” in the lyrics echos the three days between the death and resurrection of Christ. I want to believe in the resurrection of what has been lost, but it is so hard to see right now when things are falling apart. Breaking. Ending.
Goodbyes are sad
You’re the best that I wish I had
So I’ll wait a million more
All roads lead to an end. This is true even for what you love the most. That is such a frightening truth. It is no wonder that we would rather stay angry than to face it. But not facing it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. So let the anger go if it is past its usefulness. Then bury your dead. It’s how you find the resolution you need. It’s how you find healing.