"I caught sight of my reflection
I caught it in the window
I saw the darkness in my heart
I saw the signs of my undoing
They had been there from the start
And the darkness still has work to do
The knotted chord's untying
They're heated and they're holy
Oh they're sitting there on high
So secure with everything they're buying" -Peter Gabriel
Pain and pleasure. Love and indifference. These are the deepest and most revealing dualities of life.
The song the Blood of Eden is clearly about loss, and most certainly some of the greatest depths of pain one can experience. It is suspect that it is about a failed union between a man and a woman, in this case between Gabriel and his then wife. The decades old song is a painful journey from the highs of love's tenderness to its barbed dungeons of despair. However, it seems ultimately more about the coping of the tremendous pain, the self assessment, and inward depths one must go through to look to the deepest levels of one's soul. For it is only there, at the interface with the soul, that one might make positive meaning from such tremendous pain that loss brings us, whatever its form. The truth is, pain must be faced and embraced, or it will fester and eat us alive as our life marches onward. Pain is both the knife that cuts us from the shadows, and in time, the healer of our soul, for within the pain are the lessons which only time can deliver. The only way to survive pain's bloodletting is to swim in its salty waters, fully accepting its sting in our vulnerable gaping wounds. For the patient and enduring, forgiveness and understanding are the sweet nectars that can eventually flow from the wicked knotted roots of pain, if we dance with it long enough. We must all face pain, it must not be turned away, though it seems easier to run from it. Failure or avoidance to look at pain's lessons, to get fully wrapped up in its suffocating choke, is a guarantee to avoid growth and to never fully emerge whole again to see the light of love and happiness.
To me, this is one of the most beautiful musical pieces ever composed, to both the ears and mind. It is a reminder of the pains of life, and of the painful work we must embrace if we are to fully understand the messages of our life's journey. Make no mistake, we will not get out of this life unscared, but it is how we dance with these pains and wounds that define us, and our days ahead.
"My grip is surely slipping
I think I've lost my hold
Yes I think I've lost my hold
I cannot get insurance any more
They don't take credit, only gold
Is that a dagger or a crucifix I see
You hold so tightly in your hand
And all the while the distance grows between you and me
I do not understand" - Peter Gabriel