“There is a girl in New York City Who calls herself the human trampoline And sometimes when I’m falling, flying Or tumbling in turmoil I say “Whoa, so this is what she means” She means we’re bouncing into Graceland And I see losing love Is like a window in your heart Well, everybody sees you’re blown apart Everybody sees the wind blow”
Whenever I hear Simon sing that iconic song I am momentarily paused by his enunciation at the point:
“ whoa, so this is what she means“
As my interpretation of the lyric is the she to which he refers, is the one who calls herself “The human trampoline“.
To me it is lyrically and existentially an “Ah ha moment within an Ah ha moment”
I see Simon paused in reflection at some particularly challenging moment contemplating his options.
He wrote and sings not of the pain of “losing love” but rather what the experience was like.
Interestingly, he speaks of the position of what he sees losing love is like and refers to it from almost an observers perspective. Which BTW is the perspective from where all stories and all experience is shared, I guess.
When we then, as third party listeners, observe Simon’s own third person’s view, we are instantly able to connect with the song because we are capable of understanding the perspective.
For who among us has never had the view of our lives where we witnessed oursleves “Falling and Flying” ?
And isn’t it almost always at that moment when we imagine “Everybody can see you’re blown apart“?
Yes … and no.
For sure, we have all had moments of pause, be they joy or grief, where we sat back and looked at our “selves” and not experienced that perspective of:
“WTF! This is not how I imagined….”
However our feeling that these moments only occur when the future hits the present is simply also a matter of perspective.
Perhaps our real fear is that we are most exposed and “vulnerable” when we are unaware of something.
None of us likes to look stupid.
It’s as if appearing out of control will almost certainly manifest our worst fears.
I understand where this comes from…its in the fiber of our DNA.
These fears are deeply rooted in our evolution of our species to appearing out of control.
Think back to the days of yore when the need for environmental control was of primary benefit at the dawn of our species. Back then we needed to make sure we avoided certain mistakes that would ultimately result in really icky shit.
The idea that we lost “control” or even full awareness of our surroundings made us very much vulnerable to a bigger meaner and hungrier creature that was looking to make “a menu of one”.
However, the value we place on “all knowing” today is creating a pesky little subculture wherein we are seeing interlopers who “Know a little about everything giving the impression of knowing “a lot”.
They bamboozle us with the idea that if you know a lot about everything you are much less likely to be vulnerable at any given point in any given situation right?
What about the knowledge of experience? What about the divining rod of intuition? And how about grace?
One act of grace is the experience where tremendous pain and challenge serves to dispel the idea of limitations. Inspiring us beyond past challenges to greatness beyond even previously imagined boundaries. Which enriches one with both intuition and experience.
Grace has the opportunity to occur when we witness our lives from the perspective of the Observer/ Narrator … we actually are aware of where we are.
Aware when when we achieve our dreams and aware when we fall short but grace is also present when we experience something we never imagined.
In all of these moments of grace we are given the choice to witness it.
Whether discomfort or bliss exists it will always be best experienced from the perspective of the viewer. In that from that perch we can observe and learn how often we far surpass our limits physically, mentally and emotionally when we truly surrender ourselves to the experience rather than the outcome.
Even further it is from that perspective, that each gut wrenching heartbreak we wake up feeling, every consecutive 2 week pay period that you just can’t quite make ends meet, every hangover we endure, we can have a moment to see “our selves” facing a new day.
Which surfaces my question… Is it grace that provides the moment that we marvel at our ability to rise once again?
Isn’t it at the precise moment when we realize “ouch, I bloody well woke up again with this issue“,that we have a momentary reprieve to view ourselves. When WE are not consumed in the issue, can we not see ourselves from the place of observation concluding “I’m here again“.
With that moment I am Graced with an opportunity to take a different view and perhaps ultimately a different response to the issue.
Consider the fact that if I find myself aware that “I” am aware that, my head is pounding and my mouth feels like ashtray sand, actually means by extension that “I” survived to witness the aftermath of this particular train-wreck and that if I don’t limit my view to that of of the “suffering fool” I just may have the opportunity to choose from what perspective I want to view the next moment. Assuming, my arms are not still wrapped around porcelain at that moment.
All of which reminds me that when I shift my view from what is happening to me to what I am witnessing, I have seated myself next to Paul Simon on my way to Graceland, which is a very cool ride.