… Book of Eli: the song at the cannibals’ house.
I actually have always hated that song – “Ring my Bell” by Anita Ward. But Eli and Solara, having found themselves at a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, are treated to the only record the cannibals – I mean, the farmers – have left from the before-time: “Ring My Bell”. I listened to it, cringing, thinking, “I would rather not survive an apocalypse if that’s the only song I could take with me.” But Solara is smiling and rocking back and forth, totally entranced by the sounds from the record.
She’s never heard recorded music before.
She’s grown up in this post-apocalypse, hearing, possibly, the occasional live music, but this random ‘70’s record is the first music like this she has ever experienced. It sounds beautiful to her, and she’s enchanted and grateful to be shown such beauty.
We judge things against what we’ve already known. We judge our own voices against the crème-de-la-crème of the music world, and we hide what we imagine to be our “horrible” singing voices. We judge our hobbies against others’ careers, and our regular days against others’ best efforts. We fear aging, because we will never look like we did when we were young … but when we are young we dislike ourselves in comparison to the photoshopped and airbrushed supermodels we see. We want new and better and stronger and faster, and some silly song from the ‘70’s makes us hope we don’t survive the apocalypse.
But what if we evaluate everything – every moment, every person, every song – just in and of itself? What if it were the only moment/person/song we had ever encountered? We would probably find it beautiful, wonderful, amazing. What if we evaluated ourselves against this day instead of against all the days that have come before? Maybe we’d find ourselves to be beautiful, wonderful, amazing. We wouldn’t be able to put a bunch of descriptive/comparative adjectives on everything, and make ourselves crazy by losing all perspective.
We’d be enchanted too.