Thursday, February 2, 2012
there are millions of stories and millions of memories contained in various songs. they preserve countless lives and encounters. in fact, i encountered a great sadness and a flooding void when this song by the beatles struck me. i had known it before september 1991. my cousins in croatia loved the beatles and i had been familiar with all of their albums ever since i was a kid. but in early september 1991, when i was counting the days, this song dovetailed itself into my gloomy, yet yearning spirit. i was still doing my military service, after a full year in the army during which i spent only three days at home. the country was sinking into madness beyond repair. me and the other soldiers were young and disoriented. we did not know when, or even if we were finally going home. they could have sent us to war at any moment.
one afternoon they organized a small concert at the football pitch. a lush folk singer was trying to entertain the olive-green clad youths, but nobody could forget about himself so much as even to give her a decent applause. when she was done, a guy in uniform came in front of the band, took the microphone, and started singing some pop and rock classics. the only song i remember, and remember it so well, is 'and i love her'. i was struck by the line 'bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky'. i don't know why. all my confusion, fear, deprivation, nested in this song, and though gloomy, the memory of it is warmly lurking from the past.