Death, Limbo, and Christmas Lights

Today I pulled out of my high school parking lot for the last time ever as a student. The next time I go to school will be to pick up my diploma. I’m not really sure how I feel.

The other day I was comparing the way I feel about this to something David Crowder once said,

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Or perhaps Shakespear spoke better through Hamlet,

Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

No… maybe that’s too wordy. Regardless. I feel like this in some way. I have been looking forward to college for so long. I have been so excited. But, it’s so hard to leave high school. As in, to leave the people that I’ve known and the places that I’m comfortable in. Leaving high school is like dying in a way. I’ll be leaving what I’m used to behind and going somewhere else. Somewhere greater. “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” With that said, I feel like this song is appropriate.

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Good ole Jon Foreman.

If high school was earth and college is heaven, I must be in limbo right now. I know that limbo is heretical, but in it’s heretical sense, doesn’t it just mean nowhere? I’m kind of in between right now. I’m no longer a high school student, but I am not a college student yet. I’m not exactly sure how to place myself right now. I guess the next several years will be like this for me, because I’m not a “kid” anymore, but neither am I an adult.

I’ve been wanting to write a song of closure. A song to describe this going from one place to another. This leaving where I am and going away. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted it to sound like. I couldn’t even figure out what instrument I wanted it to be on. But last weekend I sat down and this finally spilled out. It’s a song to all my friends. A song to all the people I must say “farewell” to.

If you stayed late for senior speeches at the theatre formals a couple of weeks ago, you heard this. I compared communities to a strand of christmas lights. You take them out of the box and some pieces of the strand are all tangled up. Some parts are so stuck together that you can hardly separate them. Some people may call these cliques (which has a bad connotation), but I think it’s something natural.

The importance of this example is that, although there are some parts of the strand that are more tangled than others, there is but one strand. We are all one strand of lights. Whether it be the strand of Troupe 4385, of Kempner, or of First Colony Church (these are some of the communities from which I will be departing) it is one strand that I am glad I’ve been able to be a part of.

Another importance of this example is the individual and collective beauty of lights. A light is a beautiful thing, but when many are strung together on a strand a new sort of beauty can be appreciated. Thank you all so much for letting me be a part of this collective beauty.

The truth is, I’ve become real tangled up with some of you. It’s going to be hard saying goodbye. My hope is that maybe it won’t “goodbye” as Carole-Marie has told me before, but a “see you later.” Even though those laters will be fewer and far between. This song is for you. This song is for all of you that I have become tangled up with.

Thank you so much for sharing life with me. I love you all.

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Lyrics
I’ve been tryin’ to write this song for awhile now.
It’s on the tip of my tongue, but it won’t come out.

There are so many words that I could say to all of you.
But what I find myself saying lately is, “I’ll miss you.”

What can I say
When I know I’ve got to go away?

It’s been so long, it’s been so long, it’s been some years.
We’ve had some fun, we’ve had our fun and we’ve shared some tears.

And I know that that’s a cliché rhyme, but its how I feel.
I hope you remember all of our times. The times that are so dear to me.

What can I say
When I know I’ve got to go away?

It’s not the end,
But it’s a walking through a different door.
We’ll still be friends,
I just won’t see you as much anymore.
Like christmas lights in a box,
We’re tangled up in each other.
Like a pair of socks
(But you can’t find the other).

What can I say
When I know I’ve got to go away?

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