Sophie's Choice: I'm not a fan, but James Taylor has a point
I may risk the wrath of Baby Boomers and elitist hipster wannabe songwriters everywhere, but I have to say it, I don’t dig James Taylor’s music. Yes, I know he didn’t win five Grammy’s for nothing and his lyricism is pretty splendiferous, but how a guy manages to span a career of 40 years with songs that sound exactly the same makes me think that some lambs were sacrificed to the Dark Gods of Tuneage in order to hit the Billboard 100. But all that aside, Mr. Taylor has some affecting messages that he strums out. My wise ol’ mum recently reminded me of the chorus from the song “Shower the People” off of Taylor’s album, In the Pocket. “Just shower the people you love with love Show them the way that you feel Things are gonna work out fine if you only will Shower the people you love with love Show them the way you feel Things are gonna be much better if you only will.” Perhaps a little too Kumbayah for the emotionally constipated among us (clears throat and cautiously raises hand), but how else are you supposed to say it? The honest approach to our loved ones is usually the best. And in the spirit of sincerity, how easy is it to forget to clue in the people we care about on how they rock our world? Now I realize that it’s not fair to cast the same dysfunctional light on others as I do myself when it comes to uttering those three words. For those who can look at their respective group of peeps and say, “I love you, here’s why, and I just want you to be happy and safe,” allow me to give you a standing ovation (rises from keyboard and claps), and I mean that. Often, when it comes to the folks who are keen on us, our behavior can sometimes be less than cuddly. We can be sarcastic, judgmental, nagging, negligent and less than our most stellar self. The most ironic part is that it stems from taking those people for granted; we know we are loved, we think they will always be there, so we get an emotional get-out-of-jail free card. We’re allowed to act like drunken, mentally handicapped calves dancing through life in high heels, because we know someone will be waiting for us back at the barn (okay, so it’s not the most excellent metaphor, but I’m only one cup of coffee into my morning). I haven’t lived very long, and my worldly experience isn’t much, but a lesson I’ve been forced to learn the hard, 2 x 4, slapped upside the head way is that one of the biggest regrets of life is not telling someone you care about how much they mean to you. If we all received a memo at the same time saying the world was going to end within the next five minutes, cell phones, landlines, Skype would be jam-packed with people professing their love to each other. Who cares if you stumble through your words? Flowery confessions should be rated on genuineness, not the fact that they are ornate. If you are of my ilk, and you find that the words tumble about in your head like shoes in a dryer before they come spewing out of your mouth, allow me to help with the written kind. “I love you. Not just because of how you make me feel, but because you are (insert admirable qualities here). You are one of the most amazing people I know, and no matter what happens, I am blessed to have you in my life.” Hugs are usually applicable to this situation. I’ll leave the James Taylor up to personal preference.