Growing up wasn’t all about parties and first loves. There was a lot of loneliness and heartbreak too. Those high school years were often brutal. For some they were momentary frustrations, for others they were endlessly overwhelming, but in one way or another they were very real for every one of us. My high school years certainly had their share of disappointment, frustration, sadness, and anger. I didn’t always handle this very well, actually hardly ever. I won’t be shuttling off to my grave with no regrets. I wish I could go back and do some things differently or at least tell my young self that I did survive and am not alone and that she’s pretty freaking hot too!
Who am I kidding, that knowledge wouldn’t have helped. Not in the moment. Not in real time. Feelings can’t be washed away with vague, intangible facts from the future. They can, however, be soothed with great music. Today’s song had no small role in doing so for me. When I was at my lowest, this was the song I’d lie in bed listening to, shrouded in the darkness of my room, as the ache engulfed my body, wondering if I would ever be loved.
The song is slow and painful, haunting really, making it a perfect companion for lonely nights binging on despair. Yet it also managed to comfort me and even give me hope or at least the will to face another day. A transcendent song can do that. It will allow you to bleed then begin the healing. I have no idea why but somehow this song left me anything but helpless.
From the immortal 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young record Deja Vu, this is the iconic Neil Young song “Helpless” kicking off the weekend.
Live (this is such an awesome version…gives me goosebumps):