Friday, October 21, 2005

Staying Focused on the Mould

I watched the "Bittersweet Symphony" video again last night by The Verve. It is a brilliant song, a real classic.

In the video, the vocalist (Richard Ashcroft) is walking down a road to destination unknown. He bumps into one woman who falls but he keeps going. In the background you can see others helping the woman up and people looking back at the singer thinking he's crazy. Richard's eyes are focused on where he's going. He bumps into other pedestrians but keeps going. A woman appears and is having a go at him but he's not paying any attention. The woman eventually walks away. Two guys try to distract the singer but he ignores them and keeps walking. Eventually people give way and he's no longer distracted on his walk. The video ends with Richard joined by several guys who walk with him.

Here's part of the lyrics:

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life
Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah
No change, I can't change, I can't change, I can't change,
but I'm here in my mold , I am here in my mold
But I'm a million different people from one day to the next
I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no Bittersweet Symphony
He is saying that on the one hand there's a part of him that changes as in "I'm a million different people from one day to the next." On the other hand Richard sings "I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no." My understanding is that he's referring to the innate self from which these million different people emerge. He can't change who he is as essence. He is always the same.

Now let me revisit the video. In the video Richard doesn't stop to sympathise with people he's bumped into, he simply keeps moving. This suggests that the singer is so focused on his mold that nothing distracts him from who he is being. His determination and focus attracts like-minded people who follow him, presumably wanting to live their lives in the same way.

I can so relate to what it takes to focus on who you are. No matter what the world throws at me to distract me, I am focused on being who I am. Sometimes distractions come as well-meaning ideas from those who want you to see life the way everyone else does; they are there to remind you that "you're only human." Their ideas fall off me like dead leaves. I find that my one-pointed focus dissolves distractions before they arise. People start to admire you for who you are and even want to be like you. Of course no one can be like me; everyone has to be who they are.

Excellent video and song from The Verve. Highly recommended.

Thank you.

With love,

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony video