certainly the revival of something or other

Every time I hear The Revivalists’s song, “Wish I Knew You,” I feel a strange melancholy for…what?

            Missed opportunities I guess.

            That old notion that we weep less for the things that happened than we do for the things that didn’t.


            The song cuts me. I’ll be having a good time at a bar and the song’ll come on and I go quiet. Doesn’t spoil the mood at all, but it adds a gloss of bittersweetness. I think it hits me almost the same way as “Hallelujah”–not in terms of profundity and poetry (not sure there’s more than a handfulla songs that rival “Hallelujah” on that front), but just in terms of its capacity to make me quiet and appreciative and to feel something, even if that feeling is mourning, cuz–to sample the Cormac McCarthy quote below–even a dash of sorrow can work to throw some sugar on an evening.

Stranger in the Alley, Rachel Harbert

It was the nature of his profession that his experience with death should be greater than for most and he said that while it was true that time heals bereavement it does so only at the cost of the slow extinction of those loved ones from the heart’s memory which is the sole place of their abode then or now. Faces fade, voices dim. Seize them back, whispered the sepulturero. Speak with them. Call their names. Do this and do not let sorrow die for it is the sweetening of every gift.

Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing

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