It is not always that you find what you’re looking for. And it is even rare to love madly something which you weren’t looking for. Let’s face it, as you try to get yourself high or let yourself drown, in music, a song about your school, college or your parents isn’t always your favourite option. This has nothing to do with how you or I feel about our mothers. You aren’t going to love an artist singing softly about how amazing your mother is when others out there are hypnotising people with stairways leading to heaven or highways leading to hell. Not unless you’re listening to a man called Samuel Beam. I still maintain, this isn’t a theme I was madly scrounging my iPod for. I do that for the Floyds and the Zeppelins, the Cures and the Smiths. They make me happy, they make me sad. They talk to me about things I want to talk about, things I want to listen to, things I want others to take note of and things I want to outrage about. And they do that outrageously well.
But here I am quietly lost in thoughts, when I could be doing a million other things, while listening to Samuel Beam talk to his mother. Thinking about Samuel, his mother, myself and my mother, while Samuel is serenely strumming his guitar away in the soft background of my mind. The softness of the piece creates a sense of calmness, of happiness, of peace and being safe, things you’d associate your childhood and especially your mother with. But this song isn’t about mine or Samuel’s childhood. It’s about our mothers and their lives. So it’s not always calm or peaceful. Not always happy. And herein lies the beauty and the genius of this piece. There isn’t a single instance where you’re agitated while you’re listening to it. Not once will your blood pressure spike as you get charged with adrenaline. You’re always at peace. You’re listening to some really shit stuff that our mothers face as they live their lives but the atmosphere is never violent, never beyond breaking point. It’s just…calm. Like an ocean. Like your mother, like my mother.
This song absorbs our sadness as we get lost in the sorrows of our mothers, just like our mothers absorb her and our sorrows all into herself and still manage to smile when there’s nothing in our lives worth smiling for. You smile back for her and moments later you smile with her. It might be for a moment but you’re in that peaceful shrine of your childhood again. Man hasn’t been able invent the time machine. These words I speak are immortal. Maybe someday some blessed soul chances upon these words of mine when man has in fact managed to make his own time machine. But, although highly backward, we people, of this era, have always been able to travel back in time, if even for the smallest of moments. Those moments you spend with your mother in the evenings of her life and you in your noons, and you get to watch her smile, every single of those moments takes you back in time and believe me, she must have time travelled innumerably more than you ever will.
As Samuel points out, we can tell our mothers not to worry as much we want, it’s futile. She’ll worry. We may have gone just outside the house for a walk in the evening or million miles away fighting a war in some foreign land, she’ll worry. She might worry more or she might worry less, depending on the gravity of the situation, but she’ll worry. We may be rich or we may be poor, we may be kids or we may be 60-year-olds, as long as she’s able to breathe and able to think, she’ll worry. Leave her alone, when you could’ve been with her and she’ll take it in her stride and relive the moments she spent with you back in the old days, the good days. Leave her alone as go out to play as a kid or leave her alone as you fly upwards over the mountain, she won’t complain. She’ll keep her world to herself, keep us in her heart, keep the memories she made with us, from the time we breathed from within her body, in her heart. She’ll keep and relive every single such moment for as long as the Almighty would let her. And even when the Almighty too gets tired of His game and wishes to take her away, she still won’t hold it against Him or us. But whenever He does do it, she’ll still worry. About us. There she is, moments away from having everything she cherishes snatched away from her, yet her eyes and heart can only worry about us. You’d think He really messed up when He created Her. That nobody should be as good and as selfless as Her. No-one deserves to have someone like Her. But He gave us each other and that is something which you or I can’t ever thank Him or Her enough. Life has been a privilege of the highest order, however hard shit might hit us in life, because of that. Nothing can change that. The joy is forever.
“Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
Mother forgive me, I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you
So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons could be birds, taken broken up to the mountain”