No longer being physiologically, emotionally, or spiritually able to manage the influx of terrifying pre-election news, I randomly found an old CD of Abbey Road in the glove compartment of my car. As a way to keep myself insulated and safe from car radio media onslaught, I have monogamously committed to the Fab Four this week. My experiment has been to play this CD consistently in the run-up to the election, and see what I can learn, what lessons I can garner from Abbey Road. How might 1969 support us, right here, in the tensions of 2016?
I am finding particular interest in and comfort from three songs, Come Together, Here Comes the Sun (surely one of life’s best songs), and The End. Here’s what I am learning; see if there is anything for you here.
This fantastic album, although not so critically well-received at the time since it was so innovative, begins with “Come Together”. You would recognize this song in a moment. Most sources say the wacky lyrics refer to the unrest in the group, which was on the verge of breaking up. The words “come together” appear to be John’s demand that they get their act together and pull their energies into union. There is a wide difference as to what lines refer to what band members. Whatever.
But for us, what might this have to do with today? Suffice to say, readers, come together. This is the time to breathe into and lean toward the people in our life. We can and we must find solace in our families of choice and ours families of origin. If there are people in our life with (ugh) different political beliefs, let’s get over ourselves and come together anyway. The only way I can imagine our country healing from this lunacy seems to be each of us leaning toward one another.
Here’s the challenge: reach out. Make a phone call. Write an email. Draw on community. The illusion of “the other” has dominated this campaign. It’s just not true. We are all in this together–we really are one. Practice and see what unfolds.
The second song that is buoying my heart with such brilliant hope and possibility is George Harrison’s masterpiece, “Here Comes the Sun”.
The progression of the music, the opening into hope and renewal, the reminder that all is well in the natural cycle of things, is exactly what I need in a time of such disturbance. Surely life works. And who knows? It’s not our business to understand the bigger picture. Perhaps even horrid circumstances can result in healing.
The song reminds me, time and time again over the decades, that healing happens. In George’s words, “It’s alright.”
And finally, “The End”. After a series of wacky and almost disjointed short songs, Our Beatles end the album with these words, which speak for themselves:
“And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to
Swami Kripalu, who is not a fifth Beatle as far as I know, but spiritual father of Kripalu, says it another way:
“Love is the only path,
love is the only god,
love is the only scripture.”
He, along with John and Paul, Ringo and George, remind us of the circular process of loving kindness. Offering it out, receiving it—in this cycle, we are all healed. Time is now to practice.
Messages from Abbey Road, received: come together, it’s alright, no matter what it looks like, and love. Love the people and the things around you. It’s all we have.
Dear Readers, please do find your way through these difficult days. If anything in this blog, if anything from 1969 speaks to you, do let me know.