Once upon a time, Brian Wilson was living the dream. And then a nightmare. And then he found a path out of his nightmare. If you’re interested, his journey was extremely-well chronicled in the biopic, Love and Mercy.
When I finally saw the film, it was after I had moved out my home, out of my life, out of my marriage which I had been in for half my life. It was as if Brian Wilson had been to hell and back for one reason, to inspire me. If he can climb out of an abyss so can I.
I haven’t thought about Brian or his journey for a while. Not until a couple days ago after writing my last post, Turn, Turn, Turn chronicling my recent difficulties. I was walking to Georgetown. Normally I listen to an audio book. Currently, I’m loving A Short History Of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. Instead of listening to the book, I searched for a musical playlist that didn’t require focus. Without a conscious rEason, I selected That Lucky Old Sun, an album Brian Wilson released in 2008, created when Wilson was back on solid footing.
The album which sold a measly 65,000 copies, hardly made a blip on the cultural radar screen. With the exception of one guy in Washington DC who thinks That Lucky Old Sun may be one of the best concept albums ever created. According to the Wikipedia, the album as “consisting of five rounds with interspersed spoken word,” as described by Wilson himself.
I guess that’s right. What requires no knowledge of musical structure is this; the album celebrates L.A., its diversity, natural beauty, its culture. More to the point, Wilson also sings about his journey. In a beautifully meaningful way he offers inspiration that there is light at the end of longest of tunnels.
The entire album, a scant thirty-eight minutes long, demonstrates the power of creative genius, sharing one man’s pains and pleasures with a toe-tapping rhythm, and a hummable medley. I wish I could I say the decision to play the album that morning was conscious. I wish I could say I knew That Lucky Old Sun was exactly what I needed at that very moment. Beacuse it was. But that’s not the point. Sort of.
While it would be swell to be so self-aware that I know how to fix myself when things are miserable, I’m not there yet. Not all the time at least. Some of the time. More often than I was when things were bad. And just knowing that is extremely reassuring.
After I wrote my last post some dear friends reached out, both online and in person. They were worried about me. I am extremely grateful for these gestures. I was okay. Not great, but not despairing. I was struck by the fact that there are people out there who are hearing me, both in my blog and and outside of it. Thank you. Thank you for caring.
Stay in touch. Connect.
P.S. If you do listen to That Lucky Old Sun, I urge you to listen to it in order, rather than shuffled. It tells a story. Completely contrary to my previous statement, here’s a track to whet your appetite.
P.P.S. If by chance you do listen to it, I’d love to hear about it!