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An Encomium of "Stupid Deep"

By Taylor ChurchPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

Whether we want to admit it or not, much of our life and our thoughts revert back to our own existence. We worry about our purpose, our utility as human beings, and the dusty path we are on. We see the mess that we live in, the mistakes, the beauty, and a million other things with emotions and views we will never be able to fully explain. Some questions that pop into our heads are too painful to actually ask. Am I lovable? Am I going to be happy? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? If I’ve been depressed before, will I be depressed again? Sometimes they all come unbidden in moments of weakness and inadequacy. And sometimes they simply linger in the shadows of the foreground like hidden jungle-cats.

About seven months ago a song came out that prodded my consciousness, and poked at paradigms I thought were well-established in my head. The song is called "Stupid Deep," by Jon Bellion. In it he asks a series of rather ontologically rhetorical questions that I want to try to answer, at least for myself.

The first line of the song says, “What if who I hoped to be was always me?” This line alone has in all its figurative electricity left me absolutely floored. It seems terribly simple, even trite at first glance. But then when I stop and think, wait, what if who I wanted to be and hoped desperately to be and become actually was already who and what I am? Surely we all hope for more, for greater success, greater accomplishment. But what if, just perhaps, what we always were, was always enough? Sometimes we can’t see through what we assume to be an awful, life-displacing storm to see that we are actually experiencing countless moments of joy, things we will look back upon with celestial fondness. Maybe the question is more about living in the moment, feeling the love of the present. Maybe it’s about loving who we are now, instead of fixating on what we could be. Or maybe it’s saying that we will be who we hope to become, so why fret, why endlessly worry and kvetch when our time is so unimaginably limited? Maybe hope is enough. Maybe we ourselves are enough.

The next question is just as rattling and curious, “What if the love I fought to feel was always free?” Now, I’m not going to speak for Mr. Bellion, nor can anyone claim to know exactly what an author or poet is trying to say. That’s the beauty of the written word, it moves people in different and diverse capacities. Some see a metaphor, when others see nothing more than an adverb. With a single description some remember an erstwhile love, while others recall the scent of their grandma’s pantry in the summer time. When I read this question, I think of a loving Creator, a God, a Mother, a Father… Undoubtedly and unfortunately, we have all fought to feel love. Often we have even crawled and clawed, and fallen at the feet of someone only to be trodden over and soon forgotten. And so I can’t help but think of the God I believe in, that has always loved me unconditionally at no cost, a love I need not fight for, but a love that was always there and always will be there. Perhaps that same love exists for all of us. Maybe we just haven't found it yet, or worse, it’s been there all along, but we are so wrapped up and consumed by our own ideas and concerns and tasks that we think are centered in absolute truth and sure necessity, that we don’t notice the parent that weeps at our tiny misfortune, or the lover that would turn their life upside-down for the mere chance to be with us, for the friend who thinks about your happiness more than you do. Maybe that sacred love was there all along.

Bellion asks three more questions.

  1. “What if all the things I’ve done, were just attempts at earning love?”
  2. “What if where I’ve tried to go was always here?”
  3. “What if the path I’ve tried to cut was always clear?”

Sometimes I think people are determined to be unhappy. And though I know in a very visceral way that it’s not easy to find happiness and truly bottle it the way you want to, maybe asking ourselves some of these questions and pondering the variegated answers will be an okay start.

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About the Creator

Taylor Church

Omnivorous reader, author of two books, maniacal maker of lists and nuanced notebooks.

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