Utopia

Quarter of three o’clock 🕒. Dreams not far from reality, of construction on the house, the bass I built, the dumpster in the front yard, and the trailer in the driveway. Dreams of growing pains like the mallet blow to my ring finger, which turned to plum but soon healed. My soul grinds the problem of transformation waking and asleep. My dog looks depressed, so I take him out walking a little. I tell him in words how we’ll get our house back in a matter of time. I don’t know if he comprehends. Meanwhile I don’t want to hear from anyone who is faithless or hopeless, because too much of that could drive me over the edge. “Rejoice rejoice, we have no choice but to carry on… Love is coming, love is coming to us all.” Whatever happened to songs like this? Graham Nash’s voice so high that he actually overshot the notes into sharpness. That’s how strongly they felt about reforming the human condition. It was a creative impulse I can trace back to Shelley’s poetry, this booming voice proclaiming that humanity is perfectible. And why not? If we can imagine perfection, surely we can realize it? What will it take for all of humanity to take this step together? “Hear this voice now and forever, it’s time, brothers in time, is it hard to take this choice, as it kicks so hard… There in the heart of millions, seen as a godsend to us, there stands our future. There can be no denying, simple as ABCD, there stands our children’s lives.” This song by Yes is about the best that rock music has to offer, and its utopian message is timeless and simple: there’s no reason why we can’t live in perfect harmony with each other and with nature. People can dismiss it as poetic sentiments, which would be very sad when poets have always known best.

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