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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mat Kearney: Just Kids

You will spend the rest of your life recovering (or not recovering) from the loss of innocence. 

No one escapes the brokenness. 

It was a moment that you remember well, because up until that point you didn't have a clue. You weren't aware that the darkness was so dark. You hadn't felt the pressure of being here, in this inescapable coffin of a world. Your disappointments until that day were small and easily solved with a kind word or a lollipop or a hard game of soccer. 
But then it happened. 
And nothing was ever going to be the same. 

Maybe you've been fighting it, and lashing out at a world you rightly hate for the crime and the loss and the death and the pain. Maybe you're pretending that it isn't so bad and grasping at whatever fantasy numbs the searing wounds of your shattered heart. But I know, and you know, we don't belong here ultimately. At least not the here that we can see and feel and taste. And we long for a way to be strong enough to face the abyss with courage and yet be joyful enough to walk away untouched. 

This is the longing I feel when I listen to Mat Kearney's song Just Kids. The imagery of his personal memories make the experience powerful. This is one man's wrestle with the loss, not of his youth, but of the simplicity that made relationships beautiful. The first verse poetically refers to the "wet cement" in the souls of children that catches whatever happens around them. Of course, the cement hardens and can't be changed, whatever was marked there. The first chorus expresses his longing that he could have started this relationship back when things didn't feel broken, back before they even knew about the pain they would cause each other and the messiness of the families they come from. 

After detailing the chaos of their backgrounds, the artist cries out for answers in a second chorus that resonates with anyone who senses the relentless, ubiquitousness of the Fall and the gnawing desire for restoration. 
For crying out loud I wanna know
How the waves keep on crashing down the doors.
Feel the weight of the world and they keep on bringing more.
If it's just you and me on the floor,
Go grab your coat, and I'll drive us home
Like we were just kids. 
Kearney articulates that it will take a return to that innocence and simplicity to make the relationship work.  That return will require the paradox of embracing the brokenness and surrendering it. Without denying or fighting, we can be just kids again.

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