The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Am I Still the Cool Guy I Used to Be?

"Midway upon my journey through life
I found myself within a forest dark..."
—Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy

July 22, 2005, Friday 20
Having nothing much to do [what's new?] and my fingers tired of writing [I write every day], I went to my room and clicked on the TV. Much More Music. No Doubt's Gwen Stefani. And, surprisingly, not "Hollaback Girl" but obviously the new single from her debut album as a solo artist, Love, Angel, Music, Baby (2004):


I have liked No Doubt since discovering the song "Don't Speak," from their second studio album, Tragic Kingdom (1995)—the song which catapulted the band to commercial popularity; but I never loved their music the way I do other post-'80s female-fronted bands that have undeniable New Wave roots, like The Cranberries, Sixpence None the Richer, and Ivy. Not until No Doubt covered Talk Talk's "It's My Life."

And most especially, not until the song


I can now say that, no doubt (pun intended), I finally got to really love something from Gwen Stefani; that is,


Strangely, I never realized that listening to a newly penned song could transcend me to a nostalgic trip. Could the song's melody be the reason behind this?

Hmm, cool.

Or perhaps, I simply have the ears for anything "New Wave." And anything New Wave has a nostalgic spell on me.


Listening to the song suddenly triggered up this question in my mind:

Am I still the cool guy I used to be?

"I'm not a cool guy anymore...," sings Milo Aukerman of The Descendents. Sometimes I feel like singing that sentiment, too. I feel that my cool days are, indeed, really over. Are they? Oh how I miss my youthful days, when most of what I cared about were music and gimmicks and music and gimmicks and music and some more music.

But does this yearning mean wanting to return to the past to be able to live once again those happy heydays?

Definitely not.

Reminiscing the past is different from dwelling on it. Strictly speaking, to relive is not the same as to live again. Whereas the former is retrospection, the latter is retrogression. And, to retrospect is spiritually and philosophically healthful while to retrogress is mentally and emotionally deleterious.
One of the French sculptor August Rodin's world-renowned bronze sculptures, "The Thinker," originally called "Dante Thinking," depicts the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his epic poem Divine Comedy. As time went by, however, "The Thinker" came to represent a person in solitary meditation battling with an intense internal struggle.

Ang Di Lumingon sa Pinanggalingan Ay Di Makararating sa Paroroonan

Yes, I've had so many glorious and wondrous moments in my childhood and youth, countless experiences both happy and sad, but I will never trade for these memories the wisdom and maturity I've gained through all the years of personal struggle with Life.

The past is, to me, now only a distant memory worth reminiscing once in a while—a source of courage, a source of strength, a reminder of my ability to persevere amidst failures and frustrations—a proof that I've traveled a long way, reached this far, accomplished a lot...will accomplish some more; all ready to surge forward through the rest of my life's journey, much bolder and braver yet nevertheless careful and cool.

Twenty years ago...

Seventeen years ago:

Fourteen years ago:

Ten years ago:

Several months ago:

Several days ago:

Several hours ago:

A few hours ago:

Am I really not a cool guy anymore?

But, again, I will never trade what I have now for what I had before. I'm so much happier with whom I am now than with whom I was in the past. I'm prouder of who I have become than who I used to be.

I glance back at the sunrise occasionally, but my eyes are always geared towards the sunset.

Now, back to Gwen Stefani's latest single...


It's hard to remember how it felt before
Now I found the love of my life...
Passes things get more comfortable
Everything is going right

And after all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

We used to think it was impossible
Now you call me by my new last name
Memories seem like so long ago
Time always kills the pain

Remember Harbor Boulevard
The dreaming days where the mess was made
Look how all the kids have grown
We have changed but we're still the same
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

And I'll be happy for you
If you can be happy for me
Circles and triangles, and now we're hangin' out with your new girlfriend
So far from where we've been
I know we're cool

I'm glad that, like Gwen, I've remained cool with all the equally wonderful persons with whom I had romantic relationships. But until now I still couldn't figure out the exact reason. But whatever that is, it's not important anymore; what matters most, I believe, is that I was able to shed my ego and pride and admit to them my mistakes, failures, and shortcomings; asking pardon for all the heartaches and tears I might have caused them.

................"No greater grief than to remember days of joy, when misery is at hand."


Post a Comment

<< Home