The end of October is almost upon us and us pagans are getting ready for our traditional end-of-the-agricultural-year harvest festivals, despite the fact that it’s 2019 and none of us have ever been involved in any actual harvestin’ in our lives. Nevertheless, it’s a good time of the year to be closing circles and traveling deeper within yourself. I’ll start with this observation: I’ve just found that I’m finally old enough to claim the song Being Boring by Pet Shop Boys as mine.
You know how sometimes you find something that you recognize to be great and meaningful, but don’t quite feel ready for it yet? I’ve felt that way about boiled eggs (when I was 5), The Smiths (when I was 16) and, most relevantly for the discussion at hand, Being Boring.
I first heard the song and saw the iconic black-and-white video by fashion photographer Bruce Weber some 15 years ago. I liked it, but felt with surprising clarity that I couldn’t yet fully appreciate its message about old friends and growing up. So I said to myself, you know what, let’s file this one away for later. Some day the song will come back and find me, just like boiled eggs and The Smiths already had by that time.
That day came a few days ago. I was sitting on the couch holding my fussy reflux baby upright after a feeding, as I often do these days. I desperately wanted to get out and into the crisp and sunny October afternoon already. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable intro of Being Boring on the radio. Yes, I own a radio and listen to Gold FM – another sign that we’re truly no longer in our 20’s.
And there it was, the moment I had predicted a decade and a half ago. Except it was even more opportune than I’d anticipated:
Now I sit with different faces
In rented rooms and foreign places
All the people I was kissing
Some are here and some are missing
I never dreamt that I would get to be
The creature that I always meant to be
But I thought in spite of dreams
You’d be sitting somewhere here with me
It was one of those almost too-on-the-nose cinematic moments in life. I thought about myself and my oldest friends and realized that we have all, more or less, become the creatures that we always meant to be, even if back then we didn’t know what that would even look like. Most of us seem kinder, happier, more open and fulfilled now. Some have, as the song says, found home in foreign places. Others… well, they made different choices. I still secretly wish that our paths will cross again one day.
This Friday, I’ll be celebrating Kekri – or some kind of a French-Finnish-Lithuanian amalgamation thereof – for the first time with my family. It won’t be the Kekri I remember from back in the day, but it will be one that’s wholly mine. You could describe my current lifestyle as “boring” and you wouldn’t be totally wrong, but I am taking boredom as an opportunity to turn inward and go deep instead of far. The rest of the world and its parties will still be there later.
As the great wheel of the year turns to winter, I wish all of you a happy Kekri, Samhain, Halloween, All Saint’s Day or whatever holiday you might observe. Be kind to each other, eat, drink and make some magic.