Are We Alright Again – The Eels

We’re all in this circus, watching the mutations of suburbia

“Are we alright again?” I have listened to “The Eels” for over a decade, but mostly to the first things I heard from them. A really good friend of mine, whom I’ve had the pleasure of making a lot of music with, gave me their inaugural album, “Beautiful Freak”. I have always had a, “yeah the Eels”, kind of reaction to their vibe. It was such a cool day when my random wanderings through music landed me on this one. I’m lucky, I get a few days that I would call “cool” every now and then, honestly, more now, than then.

“Are we alright again?” I woke up a while back, asking myself this very question and for me I would say yeah, I am alright again. All the turmoil and anxiety of this year can serve to make us question that every moment of every day. I posed that question to myself because I wanted to be honest about my answer. I am really, alright again, I am determined to celebrate that.

If you haven’t found your own conclusion to the questions that swirl around, what will normal be? When will we get there?  Then sit back and enjoy this tune, suburbia is mutating all around us and I really don’t think things will ever be the same, in many ways that is alight. My most sincere hope for you is that you will be alright again, enjoy the circus and find your place in this new brave world we will emerge on.

“Walking down the street
Or walking on the moon
What’s it matter
Outa my cocoon?
Step into the sunshine
Man, it feels good
Birds and bees jamming
A theme for the neighborhood”

We must learn from how much our lives were changed and been disrupted by the events of 2020. We need to understand how much more could change. The very first thing to do, is to be sure you are alright.  You must get to alright again, to do the work that will make us all, alright again. I want you walk out of your cocoon.

What are we going to be when we get out of this? I am choosing to believe that there is hope for getting out to alright again. I also hope that we are better because of what we just went through, together, alone. Will we forget the truth that was shown to us about who we really are? We are just beginning to crack the book on unraveling who we really are. We need to be stronger today, I want you to be alright again.  I want you to thrive.  

“Are we alright again?
Are we all round the bend?
Am I lucky or brave?
Are you stronger today?
Are we alright again?
Yeah, I think we’re alright”

I see humanity, I am so fortunate to be where I am and doing what I do, while all this shit flies around us. I see you… I know there is hope for tomorrow, I know that even in a world beset by every kind of destructive force, we must get to alright again. I think we will be alright. But we will walk a few things, or maybe a lot of things. But at some point, we must get up and walk and say hey I think I am alright, look up in the sky, take this in. We are writing history right now. Will we be alright again, lucky, or brave? If we just be alright again, we will.

“Look up at the sky
Don’t you think you could
Birds and bees jamming
Their tune for the neighborhood, they say
“Do you wanna fly?” Hmm…
“Do you wanna get high?” Yeah, I do
“High up here where we are” let me up there
“Well, don’t you know it’s not that far?”

This is where we are, struggling to find what today means let alone next year. Do you wanna get high? Yeah, I do… yeah, I do… See if you can get outside today, there are birds and bees jamming a tune for your neighborhood.  I feel a current in the air that bodes change. Change is not bad and in the type of circumstances we find ourselves in this year we need to embrace change. If we don’t it could be an awfully long road back to a suburbia that simply has disappeared, then what…

I am one so fortunate to get up each day and have a job, my wife has her job, and we can pay our bills. I am not naive enough to believe that is true for anyone else. I can’t change your day by means, but I can give you some of my hope. It is real, it is what I must give. I am alight again…

“Looking back, I don’t know how
But I can see clear up ahead
Smiling skies with a chance of “yes”
Maybe it’s time to get out of bed”

This is the real question here, is it time to get out of bed? If you don’t believe you make a difference, then do it any way. I see clear sky up ahead and I feel in my bones the chance of “YES”. Yes, we can move forward, Yes, we can get out of the circus and be alright again.  But if you don’t get out of bed and say, “yeah I do”, then it may be an awfully long and rutted road. I am choosing to make this your day to be alright again.

“Hey Mr. Bluebird, give me a hit of that
And pass it over to that mangy cat
Well, he’s been through a lot now, more than you and me
Let’s give him what we’ve got, that’s who you wanna be”

How many mangy cats do you know? How many Mr. Bluebirds? We have all been through a lot. Some of us have been ok, some of us have really been beat down and we might just feel like that mangy cat.  A little while ago, I visited my dad. He turned ninety this year, we didn’t get to have the party he wanted and deserved, but I am relieved by his great attitude and resilience. Honestly, he has given me a great example of being alright, despite your surroundings. He told me that he couldn’t write anymore, because of the macular degeneration in his eyes. He was talking about simple things like signing a check or a letter and such, but he is a great storyteller. All my life, he talked about writing his stories, but he only wrote a few of those great adventures. When my sister and I were young he would tell us these stories, mostly about Indian Jake.  I have no idea how many nights we fell asleep to Indian Jake and his wanderings around the Big Sky country.

My dad is a cowboy, and all his stories are westerns, they are my first experience of storytelling and the power of wonder that it can stir within. I know for a fact that my ability to write is a gift I received directly from him. I am sad that he won’t finish writing those stories, but I will always have them, and so will my sister. I will do my best to never leave any of my stories unfinished and yes, I am alright again.

You’ve been through a lot, take a breath, and take a hit of that. Then pass it over to that mangy cat… He’s been through a lot too.

Listening, learning, and growing…

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