April 27, 2004 Passenger
“Have you been the broken one, lying by the side of the road, waiting for a Good Samaritan, but no one has the time to ask, why are you bleeding? And are you going far?” goes the Tara MacLean song “Passenger.” It feels like it fits this week.
I’ve been reading Sylvia Plath’s journals. She felt so alone, unloved and imprisoned by her womanhood. She struggled to find her own voice and to find that person who would complete her—fill her emptiness. As I am reading, I keep thinking of how alike we are. My own diaries—especially the early ones—are strikingly similar in themes. Our lives took different paths, but the confusion, struggle, pain and emptiness in our lives is identical. Perhaps we are not alone in our emotions, but we are so few that actually get to put words to our heartache (or psychache as I once called it) and share those words.
Another cool thing is that Sylvia mentions D.H. Lawrence. She identified with how he characterized relationships in terms of polar opposites. Like Lawrence, she also sought a balance. Sylvia also mentions reading Virginia Woolf’s diaries. It seems a natural fit, as Virginia Woolf committed suicide as well.
I just finished reading another Anais Nin book too. It was a book about Nin by Helen Tookey (2003). It mentions a lot of authors and ideas that I studied in Graduate School—Lacan, Cixcious, Butler, etc. I am surprised that Nin hasn’t been readily included in Gender/Feminine Studies. I felt fired up reading about her. I longed to sit down and write about her myself. The problem is where to begin? I know so much, but how do I put my personal spin on it and make it legit? How do I assimilate and address all these different ideas and opinions? What can I contribute?
“Once a sleeping passenger, Awoke into this tired land, Last chance to find out, where I am,” continues McLean.
Those words remind me of my favorite show Alias. This season has floundered in my opinion, but not lost its charm entirely. The story lines aren’t as fresh. The double life of Sydney Bristow has faded in favor of a new focus of finding her lost two years. I don’t know…I miss the idea of her being a graduate student. I miss her friends who had no idea. All Sydney has is her father now. She, and the show, doesn’t seem as grounded now. Alias has slipped further into fantasy. Perhaps it makes the Rimbaldi story arc more believable this way. But defying death seems so soap opera-ish. Where is the pay off? I just hope we hear more on Sydney’s sister—The Passenger. Or is she the chosen one and Sydney The Passenger?
“The soul has risen, but never has forgiven, so we stay and starve the heart to make a living,” finishes Tara McLean. What is the song really about? Perhaps it is about sleeping through life…riding along as life’s passenger. So many people sleep through life in a way. They give up, settle down and ignore their heart’s desire. They starve their heart to make ends meet. It is a sad song, full of regret. It is also hopeful though I think. It is never too late to start living life to the fullest.
Interestingly, MacLean borrowed the title of the song and her CD from the Delia Del Carril by Pablo Neruda. The poem, printed on sleeve, seems to suggest that life passes us on rather we notice or not.