Sunday, March 27, 2011

Euphoria

We went to a young musician's showcase yesterday and were really impressed by a local band called Chasing Euphoria. This isn't really going to be a squealy fangirl post, though. (Although with a little more exposure, it probably could turn into one. I have a major soft spot for KICK ASS female bassists. And ass she did kick. Another day, perhaps...)

No, not a squealy fangirl post, per se, although extreme fandom can lead to a state of euphoria. Beatlemania, anyone? Such intense fangirl love that it can't be contained and your body just doesn't know what to do with it - that sounds a bit euphoric to me. A rather manic side of euphoria, sure, but euphoria just the same.

Isn't that a great word? I tried to edit the last paragraph - 'euphoria' or forms of it were used too many times - 4 times in 4 sentences. Too much, by any reasonable editors standards. Yet - I didn't want to change it. Such a lovely word. Euphoria. There, I gave it a sentence all it's own. It's one of those words that could become a mantra - I could just repeat it over and over and never tire of hearing it. It's a soft, round, lovely, peaceful, enveloping word.

Euphoria.

Most of us only get fleeting glimpses of it. Once experienced, many lives have been wasted in pursuit of just one more glimpse. I saw it - felt it - once. I was under the influence of drugs, of course. Doctor drugs - hospital drugs - don't get excited. I felt completely pure and unencumbered by pain or worry or fear - I felt light and free and peaceful. It was a time (a moment? an hour? a day? I don't know - time lost meaning) of complete and utter clarity. I understood it all. My only desire was to be able to share this. I remember thinking - I must find a way to bring everyone to this place. Not everyone I love; EVERYone. Or maybe - in that time - I DID love everyone. Who knows? Drugs can be fun (when they're administered by trained professionals, of course. Don't try this at home. Un-prescribed drugs are bad, m'kay?).

The drugs, as they do, wore off.

Pain and worry and fear crept back in and set up camp. But it was different. Because I'd seen - felt - experienced - something different - something light and whole and true. I couldn't find it again, but I knew it was there. I believe it is there.

Billy Joel gorgeously speaks of sadness or euphoria in Summer, Highland Falls.



That audience is very subdued - the squealy fangirls and boys - like Mr. Joel himself - are all grown-up and respectable. But let me tell you - the first time I saw him - around 1977, I think - I was a veritable puddle of squealy fangirl goo. But that's beside the point. Although I think this may just be one of the loveliest songs ever written, I must respectfully disagree with the premise that it's either sadness or euphoria. Most of the time it's just somewhere in the mundane middle. Another singer/songwriter from the 70's, Barry Manilow, says, "my life goes along as it should. It's all very nice, but not very good." I like the Billy Joel song more, but think Barry Manilow nailed the sentiment better. Usually it's neither sadness nor euphoria. It just is.

Doesn't mean we can't, like the band whose name inspired this post, chase euphoria from time to time, though. It's a worthwhile pursuit.

5 comments:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Nice, thoughtful post. I agree, we usually live somewhere between the poles. (Hm, unless we're bipolar.) And seeking euphoric moments is very worthwhile. I find them with my grandkids and in my garden sometimes, and occasionally at a baseball game. I'm lucky that way!

Sir Hook of Warrick aka "David K Wells" said...

A lovely post, Lady T! You'd love the band I'm working with now called The Sweetness. Features Sam McLellan, female upright bass player, from Toronto.

Sir Hook Who's Living in Eurphoric Bliss of Warrick

Eva Gallant said...

I love Billy Joel!

Hello Jodi said...

I was an adult the first time I ever tried ecstasy and I commented to my companion the next day that it was such a dangerous drug for teenagers, as that is who it was popular with at the time. Not physically (which it really is) so much as mentally. I knew that the drug caused a chemical reaction in my brain that caused it to release all the serotonin it held all at once. That was the best I was going to feel. Ever. As an adult I felt I could understand and make peace with that, it didn’t make “real” life any less enjoyable. I knew if I’d tried it in the hormonal madness of adolescence, I might have spent the rest of my life chasing that chemical-induced euphoria. That is a pretty great band name.

Sandy said...

As always, thoughtful and well said.

Regarding Mr. Joel, I remember well being in the record store in 1973 with a copy of Piano Man in my hand. My older and oh-so-smarter cousin Don said, 'you don't want that.' Because at that point I thought he knew everything about music, I returned it to the rack and at his suggestion bought something by Grand Funk Railroad, not a terrible choice but certainly not Billy Joel. Sometimes I'm ahead of the curve. Oh, of course, I eventually went back and bought the Piano Man LP. (anyone remember LP's?)