Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Music That Speaks To My Isolation - Out There

I remember one Sunday morning a few weeks ago, a song from a Disney movie popped into my head.  Interestingly, part of the song went along very well with how I was thinking at the time.

The song is entitled "Out There" from the Hunchback of Notre Dame:

 The world is cruel
 The world is wicked
 It's I alone whom you can trust in this whole city
 I am your only friend
 I who keep you, teach you, feed you, dress you
 I who look upon you without fear
 How can I protect you, boy, unless you
 Always stay in here
 Away in here
 Remember what I taught you, Quasimodo
 You are deformed

 I am deformed

 And you are ugly

 And I am ugly

 And these are crimes
 For which the world
 Shows little pity
 You do not comprehend

 You are my one defender

 Out there they'll revile you
 As a monster

 I am a monster

 Out there they will hate
 And scorn and jeer

 Only a monster

 Why invite their calumny
 And consternation?
 Stay in here
 Be faithful to me

 I'm faithful

 Grateful to me

 I'm grateful

 Do as I say
 And stay In here

 I'll stay
 In here

 Safe behind these windows and these parapets of stone
 Gazing at the people down below me
 All my life I watch them as I hide up here alone
 Hungry for the histories they show me
 All my life I memorize their faces
 Knowing them as they will never know me
 All my life I wonder how it feels to pass a day
 Not above them
 But part of them
 And out there
 Living in the sun
 Give me one day out there
 All I ask is one
 To hold forever
 Out there
 Where they all live unaware
 What I'd give
 What I'd dare
 Just to live one day out there
 Out there among the millers and the weavers and their wives
 Through the roofs and gables I can see them
 Ev'ry day they shout and scold and go about their lives
 Heedless of the gift it is to be them
 If I was in their skin
 I'd treasure ev'ry instant
 Out there
 Strolling by the Seine
 Taste a morning out there
 Like ordinary men
 Who freely walk about there
 Just one day and then I swear
 I'll be content
 With my share
 Won't resent
 Won't despair
 Old and bent
 I won't care
 I'll have spent
 One day
 Out there

[From: http://www.fpx.de/fp/Disney/Lyrics/Hunchback.html#Out There]

I relate to Quasimodo very well.  For a good portion of my life I've hidden behind 'parapets of stone'.  I walled off my heart and my mind from the people around me.  I built a fortress for myself.  I built it out of video games, masturbation, fantasy, and pornography.  I put on a mask of a 'nice guy'.  I hid my true feelings and thoughts from people in an effort to keep myself and others "safe".  I played mind games with other people, rather than letting them actually know my mind.

I listened to the voice inside me that said I was a monster for having feelings of attraction toward other men. I was a monster for wanting to act out sexually with other men.  I was deformed.  I was ugly.  The voice told me that people would hate me, that they would like me.  They would hurt me and reject me.  The only way to be safe was to continue to listen to the voice and to stay inside my fortress of isolation.

At the same time, I found myself longing to be 'out there', to be among the people.  I wanted to be loved and accepted.  I wanted to be known and understood.  I wanted to connect.  I found myself watching the friendships that men had with other men and feeling envious.  I would tell myself that they didn't understand what they had.  I would give anything to have what they had.

I have been on a journey seeking healing.  I've put myself 'out there' in so many different forms.  I've tried to make myself known.  I've noticed that if things get dangerous, my first tendency is to withdraw back into the fortress and seal the gates so that no one else can get in.  I find myself inside the fortress many times looking out there at all the people in the sun, happy, loved, and enjoying life.  I find myself outside as well, feeling loved and accepted.

I prefer being out in the sun.

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