Yesterday while walking, I encountered a small family. The little girls each held either Mommy or Daddy’s hand. Mommy and Daddy were in the middle, talking, and the girls would lean forward around their parents’ legs, and speak and laugh.
Although it amused me, the image brought Pearl Jam’s “Black” (1991) out of the memory vaults and into the active stream as I passed the family.
I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by
Some kids at play
I can feel their laughter
So why do I sear
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin
Round my head
Oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away
Why those words, then? Don’t know.
I considered “Black” a beautiful and powerful song from the first time hearing. The lyrics remain an enigma as the song begins with a softness and simplicity that steadily builds, growing louder, angrier, and tenser. Eddie Vedder uses his unique delivery and vocal range to convey complexity and turmoil to give us more to ponder. It seems like he’s wondering and is as bewildered as we are.