The familiar lyrics echo through my mind as I proceed through monotonous, daily chores at work, on the commute, while cleaning,…:
Keep your feet on the ground
While your head’s in the clouds
I mean, how real is that? I’d always been a dreamer. I was always lost in books, so out of it that sometimes people would talk for minutes before they realized I was engrossed in the pages of a Brain Jacques or Michael Shaara creation. I was the girl who was never caught flirting with the boys on the playground; instead, I would escape the feelings of inferiority by climbing high into a spruce in my plaid skirt at recess, lying back on a branch against the trunk, and seeing if I could read a whole chapter before the bell rang. Up here, no one could hurt me. And in the worlds I read about, I could do anything.
But it was always important to remember, when I put the book down, that no book would save me from test scores or barn chores. I still found a way to live in both worlds. When my life got tough and I couldn’t sleep, I was the misbehaved child whose only misbehavior was when she sneaked out of bed at 2am, curled up under her desk, and read an entire novel by nightlight before her alarm went off the next morning. I was determined to keep my feet on the ground and still have my heads in the clouds.
And when my world became more tragic, I did build it up with magic in my mind. My favorite part of the day was the part when I would lay down at night with my CD player in and play out the same routine in my mind to the tracks. In other words, I made my own music videos that enabled me to absorb the lyrics and also imagine myself doing anything I wanted.
Make sure to build your heart brick by boring brick
Or the wolf’s gonna blow it down
Paramore’s Brick by Boring Brick is just such a hit-homer. Not only does it include these ideas and these words, but it holds a much deeper meaning. It wasn’t until I started to really read the lyrics about princes, betrayal, loneliness, losing contact with the real world,…she’s ripping wings off of butterflies…and noting the butterfly on the cover of the Brand New Eyes album did it become clear: This song is in a way running parallels between our means of escaping the hard times as well as the psychological assault scientists have, in past times, placed on children called Monarch Programming where they build up their thoughts in imaginary lands of castles and mirrors…and so let’s bury the castle. Don’t believe me? Read about it here.
(After just posting about The Butterfly Circus, and now this, I think it’s funny how everything comes full-circle. My Potawatomi Indian name is, after all, Mem’iki – or butterfly. My grandma gave it to me not just because she once told me it’s her favorite being but because I’m her little butterfly who flits around the world incessantly.)
But, in conclusion, I will add my favorite part of Brick by Boring Brick, a section of the bridge that makes me think there is really something powerful behind what this is saying:
If it’s not real, you can’t hold it in your hand
You can’t feel it with your heart
And I won’t believe it
But if it’s true, you can see it with your eyes
Oh, even in the dark
And that’s where I want to be
Take from it what you will: psychology, religion, love,…I feel like these lyrics touch on both the physical and spiritual essence that embodies the things we cling to and why. Look up the song. You might really enjoy it, too.