He was 1,000,000 Miles Away…

While on hiatus, I listened to B r u c e S p r i n g s t e e n a lot. On his Greatest Hits album, he has a song called, “Secret Garden” – it’s a song that I have loved since it was released in 1995 and regard it as one of the best songs he’s ever written. Here are the lyrics:

“She’ll let you in her house
If you come knockin’ late at night
She’ll let you in her mouth
If the words you say are right
If you pay the price
She’ll let you deep inside
But there’s a secret garden she hides

She’ll let you in her car
To go drivin’ round
She’ll let you into the parts of herself
That’ll bring you down
She’ll let you in her heart
If you got a hammer and a vise
But into her secret garden, don’t think twice

You’ve gone a million miles
How far’d you get
To that place where you can’t remember
And you can’t forget

She’ll lead you down a path
There’ll be tenderness in the air
She’ll let you come just far enough
So you know she’s really there
She’ll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
She’s got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay
A million miles away

If you take away “she” and replace it with “he”, it is an exact description of how an ex-boyfriend of mine was; everything I wanted with him and wanted from him was always just out of my reach. One late night found me stretched out on my bed, surrounded by candles and the company of some Stargazer Lillies. I stared up at the ceiling thinking as this song played in the background and this particular ex came across my mind, and BAM! It took 17 years of listening to that song for me to finally “get it” – it wasn’t about a woman being a victim or a prostitute, it was something far deeper; it was about loving someone so much and them loving you back, yet something is keeping them from giving you – from giving the relationship- everything they could truly offer you/the relationship; it’s about a wall that has been built around this person’s heart. I wanted to be close to him because I loved him, and every time I felt like we were almost in that “close” place, he would pull away from me.

So, now I’m back in that time and space, and I feel a tiny bit of that pain – because pain never REALLY goes away, we just get used to it and/or don’t remember it until it’s triggered by something like a memory, or a song. Just when I begin to feel melancholy, B r u c e does something wonderful on my iPod. “If I should fall behind” begins to play. I won’t write all of the lyrics here, but this song is the stuff that weddings are made of – it’s another favourite. I start to sing along with him, my voice as soft as a whisper, “We promised each other….Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees, I’ll wait for you, and should I fall behind…wait for me“. And then my melancholic feelings were replaced with a feeling that brought a smile to my face. A feeling that for many years was lost to me…until my recent illness forced me to believe in it again…

…it was the feeling of hope. And I’m still smiling.


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