Hold Onto This LIfe of Chains

If someone asked me the soundtrack of my life, I absolutely would say, “Duran Duran,” for more than the obvious.  It isn’t just because I write a blog about being a Duranie or because I have been a fan for so long.  No, I would say that because it seems like so many songs have just hit home whenever I am going through whatever life has thrown at me.

For example, the song, Before the Rain, completely expressed what I was feelings during the winter of 2010/2011.  “On the bomb ticks that is my heartbeat, In every life-flash, In every car crash, I hear the silence waiting to fall,” really spoke to me as I waited for my grandma to pass away.  The life flash lines reminded me of someone’s last breath.  The silence following a death is real.  Do I know what the song means or what Simon was writing about when he wrote it?  Absolutely not.  That is how I interpreted those lines when I was visiting my grandma and talking to hospice about how the end would be.  

I appreciate that Duran lyrics are open enough to be interpreted and that I can and have connected with them emotionally.  This week, I found myself connecting or reconnecting to another song.  In this case, the song was “Chains.”  In case you all have forgotten the lyrics, I posted them below:

An hour since the sundown
The ghosts are creepin’ in
Are gathering around me
Like starlings in the wind

Dark shapes gather round

Voices like my brother’s
Are whispering to me
But I don’t know these others
Who want to set me free

Come home you’re out of time

But the life cannot let go
It’s a chain cuts across my soul
Anchoring in this world

I put my hand into the flame
Burning but I feel no pain
Don’t speak, don’t speak my name
Hold on to this life of chains

The door is standing open
But I’m too tired to be afraid
My whole life’s in this moment
I’ve been fighting all the way

Just need a little more time’

cause the life just can’t let go
It’s a chain cuts across my soul
Anchoring in this world

This song spoke to me this week on multiple levels.  First, I thought it fit well for my dad.  Early Tuesday morning, my dad woke up in horrendous pain.  It was so bad that by 3:30, my parents called 911.  By 7:30, my dad was taken in for surgery.  Thankfully, surgery was successful but it was pretty scary for awhile.  After a few days in the hospital, not only is he better but he is already back home.  (Yes, he is amazing and he did not hesitate to tell people that he is not a “normal 80 year old” so his recovery would be way faster than expected.)  That said, these song lyrics still fit.  Those first couple of verses could definitely describe death, “dark shapes gather round.”  Being set free could be about no longer experiencing pain or the suffering that life brings.  Yet, my dad fought.  Life could not let go.  He definitely held onto to his life.  Now that we are settling into recovery time, we know that had he not had the surgery, he would have died within a week.  Thankfully, he got the right kind of help and quickly and that he was “anchored in this world.”  

On another level, the song lyrics felt fitting to my own life.  While this week has been my “Spring Break,” it has been anything but.  On top of responding to everything going on with my dad, I had other responsibilities that I had to tend to.  The campaign that I have been managing will be determined on Tuesday.  We had last minute tasks to complete along with the final forums and canvasses to reach as many voters as possible.  If all this stress was not enough, I have had a ton of grading to do due to not doing a lot of work related to school during evenings and weekends over the past month and a half.  As I sat in the Intensive Care Unit waiting for my dad to come up from surgery, while answering messages about the campaign while grading, I truly felt like I had hit my breaking point.  I can handle a lot of stress and working non-stop for months on end but even I have a moment when it all becomes too much.  Then, as I drove home later, this song came on.  I do put my hand in the flame a lot.  I make my life tougher for reasons that I believe in with every fiber of my being.   Sometimes, like now, when I’m really struggling, I question myself and my choices but I know that my choices, my work has not only led me to where I am but I believe has made an impact beyond myself (or so I like to believe!) As I realized this, I know that “I’ve been fighting all the way,” and will keep fighting.  As much as I want to throw it all away when it becomes too much, I know that I’ll “hold on to this life of chains.”  It is who I am.  

As I listen to this song in the car, not only did my heart swell a little as I teared up some, but I also found myself taking a deep breath and sitting up straighter.  I felt stronger just by acknowledging who I am and what I’m about.  For this, I thank Duran Duran for keeping me going and making me stronger in one of the hardest weeks of my life. 

-A

2 thoughts on “Hold Onto This LIfe of Chains”

  1. I love that u are so devoted Duran Duran. Duran Duran music effects my life when I do a photo shoot for a company or agent. I feel sexy classy and alive under the camera. All Duran Duran music makes emotionally even when I have a bad day Duran Duran brings positive energy so I can be productive. Duranie for life.

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