Understated Angelic Choirs in Cynicstan

Understated Angelic Choirs in Cynicstan

Some things are meant to be in pairs. They’re meant to be twinned, coupled, one and one. Not because dualism wins. Not because we’ve lost out to dualism, in all of its permutations. After all, it’s dualistic to think in terms of the pairs and us, of the pairs not existing and us. Even of the need for pairs in this world, as if it isn’t already that way, and so.
Fix You and Run, by Coldplay and Snow Patrol, respectively, form such a pair for me. They belong to a category I’ve just invented, stolen from myself, stolen from a non-dualistic sphere, or from someone within it. No. It’s no one’s category, really. As long as no one grasps, it’s no one’s.

Official Video of Fix You, by Coldplay. 2005

Fix You is a song of rescue and healing, ostensibly. But because we live in Cynicstan, that can’t be. It’s not allowed. It has to have loud guitars here and there, to make up for the beautiful organ and piano, the falsetto, the words of light, hope and home. We need this or we’ll overdose. We’ve come too far. We’ve come much too far for this sort of thing . . .

Setting part of the video at a concert is a form of rescue from the rescue. This turns cynicism on its head, because how can we argue with huge crowds coming together, paired in song, paired in a kind of love — for the music, each other, the band, the idea of resolutions in the night?

And I imagine the marvelous feeling of the band as they let the beautiful, dizzying crowds sing the song for them, how that must feel, down deep, the revelation of thousands knowing your work by heart, caring enough about it to sing like that, to merge with the idea of resolution and restoration.

In Snow Patrol’s video of Run, the healing takes place apart somehow, while in the same setting, or so we think until the end is nigh. The band appears in concert, but to no one, to an empty audience, to an empty hall, and part of the song’s lyrics reflect this emptiness when it admits that the object of love, the person in need of saving, of rescue, may not be able to hear the singer at all — his talk of light and love.

But it doesn’t matter either way.

And then I wonder, How does this affect the twinning? What if it were reversed, with Fix You sung to no one, and Run to everyone?
I don’t really need to know. It’s not important in this world. What matters is that we can still find it in ourselves to think about this kind of thing, this reaching out, as knights on a mission to save — one thing, two things, everything. What really matters is that there are sparks that connect us, and at all points along the way. They start somewhere below angelic choirs and rise, understated, humbled through the millennia, and we’re still here.

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