I Am a Rock

I’m ย a huge Paul Simon fan. I grew up listening to my mom’s Simon and Garfunkel albums and still, to my kids’ dismay, play Graceland at top volume when I’m cleaning the house. His songs are poetry set to music, and speak to life, love, angst, and the social ills that plague humanity. Of all of his songs, I Am a Rock is one of my favorites (though it’s not one of his). It encapsulates the loneliness of looking for safety in isolation.

The squeezing, imploding feeling of heartache is the worst type of pain. Once bitten, twice shy is a cliche truth. We are prone to pulling back and walling ourselves off in the interest of self preservation, but in protecting ourselves, we cause further damage.

One aspect of getting older is having perspective and accepting heartache as a part of life. Accept it. Embrace it. It means you’re alive. If you don’t become like the singer, it will pass, and you will come out the other side a stronger person. You won’t be a rock. You will be a tree clinging to the side of the cliff, unwilling to be blown over.

The song, to me, is a cautionary tale. Pride in independence and invulnerability becomes anger at the presence of emotion, and finally ends on a hint of regret. Laughter and loving are not to be disdained after all. They are what make life worthwhile.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. C.S. Lewis


In response to The Daily Post’s daily prompt: Island.