Clicked “new post,” turned on Pandora, and hit skip, skip, skip, skip, skip. The 5th song I came to, I would write about.
That song: Rent, from the eponymous Broadway musical.
I have loved this show since it opened on the Great White Way in 1996. It was a unique show in its time: sparse set, rock-y/pop-y soundtrack, speaking to the AIDS epidemic before that was more common. Plus! It’s the musical that launched Adele Dazeem… Idina Menzel starred as the butt-bearing, performance art-ing Maureen. There are awsome love stories, tales of friendship, overcoming obstacles (and not), and all with rockin’ dance moves and catchy songs that I still sing to this day. Ask anyone who has lived near me, I’ve performed the show at least weekly (usually while cleaning) for decades now.
The theme of this show struck me early on and stays with me. I always tended to notice things with this message: no day but today.
All there is, is now. Sometimes, that’s difficult to remember, but that’s the goal, always.
Some of the lyrics remain true and/or help me to get through moments when they reappear:
How do you leave the past behind when it keeps finding ways to get to your heart?
It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out, ’til you’re torn apart.
Who hasn’t gotten stuck wondering about past mistakes and when (or if) you’ll ever overcome them?
How do you connect in an age where strangers, landlords, your own blood cells betray?
Well, that lesson comes after getting burned a few times ~ you learn who to trust, and mostly that’s by learning to trust yourself. I think there are other challenges to connecting now, almost 20 years after this show first appeared ~ connective technology that helps to keep us separated in some ways and letting outside forces shape our opinions and pit us against one another, i.e., the death of empathy.
What binds a fabric together when the raging, shifting winds of change keep ripping away?
Now that’s one that’s going to be around forever. Life is change, after all. What anchors you? Choose wisely.
There’s a song in the show that says outright “no day but today.” I listen to that one even more, but Pandora didn’t play that one. 🙂
My favorite part:
I can’t control my destiny
I trust my soul. My only goal is just to be.
There’s only now, there’s only here.
Give in to love, or live in fear.
No other path, no other way.
No day but today.
I love theater that moves me and changes me, enlightens me, and grows with me. Thanks, Pandora, for playing this song to write about. I’ll never get sick of hearing it.