Straight lines are tempting but real life is messy
On Suzanne Vega’s eponymous debut album is a song called ‘Straight Lines’. There is a good video of a 1986 live performance of this song available on YouTube.
This song tells the story of someone who tries to get her life straightened out and goes too far. She cuts off her curls and cuts out lovers and (if I’m interpreting the lyrics correctly) finally cuts herself to the bone.
It is a bleak song but to me it contains quite a helpful idea: real life is messy and the only way to completely stop it being messy is to stop living. A bit of disorder is not only acceptable it is to be welcomed. This is a particularly useful lesson to remember now that I am sharing my life with a toddler!
By all means, cut out some things but don’t cut out everything. Perfection is not attainable or even desirable.
This is an updated version of a post originally written for the nyssapod blog and I have posted it here for inclusion in this week’s Mammy’s Monday Music Meme linky.