Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Song Quote OTW

I haven't done this before and don't plan to in the future, really, but this one I'm going to quote the whole song:

we were thrown into a snowbank
into this screaming night
i heard the splintering of bones
i heard the cries of pain and fright
we had laughed and shared a kiss
mingled there our lives honey
doing ninety miles an hour
when our train hit the ice

now i can't remember
what was i so excited about
i can't remember
why all the fuss and shout
i can't remember
ah watch the ember going out

we were joking about the club car's
noticeable bad taste
the food was barely edible
and the opulence and waste were simply astounding
the passengers spent hours dismissing
rumors of their demise
and it's true a little make-up
can make a corpse look fine

but i can't remember
i've been this way since birth
i can't remember
who gives a rat's ass who is first
i can't remember
ah what is any of it worth

i caught sight of a body
in a coat that looked like yours
and i called out your name darling
but i guess you never heard me
instinctively i reached out
and i pulled you near to me
sometimes God's grace won't let you look upon
what you can't bear to see

but i can't remember
all the idols on parade
i can't remember
buy low sell high trade away
i can't remember
ah watch the embers die away

i saw Jesus in the air
now there's a face that you can't miss
i saw Him brush away the snowflakes
and bestow on you a kiss
He gathered you up in His arms
God you looked so fine
that white dress you were wearing darling
like a billion stars did shine

-- I Can't Remember, from VOL's Killing Floor CD
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Imagine being on that train with your loved one, maybe as newlyweds on a honeymoon, maybe on a getaway vacation, paint whatever picture in your own mind. Your sharing intimate moments. You're dining in the club car with all the wealthy folks, listening to their chat of "this quarter's earnings", the make of their suits and dresses, their exotic tales of travel, and half of them are their with someone other than their spouse, and they're all living the high life of the moment. You head back to your cabin, perhaps tossing a couple of jokes around about everything you saw and heard, and suddenly --

You have no idea what's happened, but you're now rolling on your side, and you realize that the train's no longer on the track. Then, SMACK, and you fly forward crashing into a wall, and the train lurches to an abrupt halt. Everything goes black for you don't know how long, and when you come to, there are some emergency lights on in the car. You hear some groaning back in dining area. But your mind focuses and it hits you: Where is he/she?

Everything that mattered to you instants ago -- your job, making yourself a success, your stocks, money markets, IRAs, and 401K plans, your vacation itself, how big your house is, what car you were considering buying, the TV show you planned to watch, the big game, the kid's education... in a matter of seconds, none of that matters anymore. None of it.

Like in Ecclesiastes, where Solomon laments life as we know it, everything is chasing after the wind.

You see the coat your loved one was wearing -- it's him/her -- next to a broken window where the snow from outside has blown into the train, and when you crawl to him/her, you know... it's not even a question... that person's gone. Your heart cracks in your chest, your stomach gives way, and you bury your head into his/her side and weep bitterly in the night's cold that you're too numb to feel.

Finally, almost as if it's in a moment of clarity, maybe it's a dream, maybe a vision: you see Jesus taking His loved one, your loved one, into His arms arms, wiping snow from the forehead and bestowing that kiss, and in a flash, the coat the person had been wearing becomes transformed into a cloak brighter than all the heaven's stars.

Even a scene such as that may not dull the pain, but it does provide a ray of hope through the tragedy. And more importantly, it contrasts with all those "idols on parade," all those trivialities that had seemed so critical before the train hit the snowbank. You now understand what is truly important.

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