Why They’re Called Bright Eyes (Cleanse Song)

Tremors: 7.0, 7.6, 3.1; Depths: 4.2, 3.9, 5.6 km; Location: 3.7 kilometers from Amman, Jordan

One of my favorite albums of all time is Beach House’s Teen Dream, and in particular the track, “10 Mile Stereo” (Shout out to Graffiti cafe for playing the whole album, and inspiring this post). The track is just this soaring epic that perfectly captures that initial denial stage just after the end of a relationship, when you’re suspended in air much like a 50’s cartoon, waiting for the inevitable reality to set in. However, this song need not apply to just the end of a relationship, but the end of any powerful, moving experience. And it is with this in mind that I am finally saying goodbye to the honeymoon phase.

This past week has been rough. From a near total mental breakdown in the middle of Arabic class to a razor thin patience for most of the everyday bullshit, this week has been a constant struggle to keep my head above water. The growing tide of stress finally boiled over this week, and left me more angry and confused than I have been since I left home. And yet, as the water finally simmered and cooled, it left me with an even clearer vision of the future.

I began this post talking about the perfect encapsulation of the feeling of the end. I close it now talking about a near-perfect image of renewal: the Bright Eyes songs “June On The West Coast” and “Cleanse Song”. Both of these songs, written during very different points in Conor Oberst’s life, represent the idea that while things may change, the human condition requires constant adaption anyway, and so the logical decision is to embrace the change. Life is too short to be constantly forcing yourself to swim against the current simply for the sake of rebellion. Perhaps what you need is a “fever dream on an Oxnard beach”, or “eyes that burn so bright they make me pure”, or even a decent cafe with good music and great friends. But it’s important sometimes to remove yourself from the situation, step back, and just smile. Somehow, it just seems to make it that much easier.


About crazytvfan815

A nearly-20 college student about to spend a year in Amman, Jordan, having never traveled to the Middle East before, and not knowing a word of Arabic.
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