Different Pulses

When I first met my wife (who has a degree in Jewish studies and spent two summers in Israel and is also amazingly creative) she introduced me to this song by Asaf Avidan.

At the time I didn't pay it enough attention, but lately it's been stuck on loop inside my brain. This is because it's part of the soundtrack for the yoga practice that this selfsame wife has been putting together for her yoga instructor training program ― a practice I have been guinea-pigging every day for the past week.

It's in my head now, and that's a good thing.

There is a reason this music video's got over eight million views on the youtubes:

Actually, there are a lot of reasons. There's that aching voice, described by a prominent critic (I mean, my friend Jonathan) as "wonderfully androgynous - kind of like a punk Billie Holiday." There's the mashup of musical styles, so perfectly wedded to the voice. There's the mystery and beauty of the images.

But even beyond the brilliant fusion of the aforementioned elements are the lyrics themselves. Easy to miss while getting caught up in the listening experience, they are an oblique poetry all their own.

My life is like a wound I scratch so I can bleed
Regurgitate my words, I write so I can feed
And Death grows like a tree that's planted in my chest
Its roots are at my feet, I walk so it won't rest

Oh, Baby I am Lost...

I try to push the colors through a prism back to white
To sync our different pulses into a blinding light
And if love is not the key. If love is not a key.
I hope that I can find a place where it could be

I know that in your heart there is an answer to a question 
That I'm not as yet aware that I have asked
And if that tree had not drunk my tears
I would have bled and cried for all the years 
That I alone have let them pass

Oh, Baby I am yours...

At first glance, they've got all the "Baby, I'm yours" impact of your basic, poppy love song. Look deeper, though. Read closer (with the images for added context) and the song becomes a meditation on loss and death, a beautiful exploration of the very human yearning for meaning in the face of mortality.

It's the sort of song that makes me want to be a better screenwriter, so I can someday maybe write a movie that would be worthy of this song as a crucial-moment part of its soundtrack.

If love is the key, Avidan has turned the lock on a beautiful room, full of light.


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