The two things I like the most about song lyrics are ambiguity and simplicity.
Penned words about a lost love might not have been referring to an actual person but a loss of love for one’s self, their work or their identity.
The power of a well written lyric lies in its ability to speak into your listening, and to succinctly articulate your thoughts and feelings.
These short yet powerful phrases can help us to define a relationship, moment, feeling or experience giving us access to understand and feel emotion.
When we build a relationship to that lyric or song, it then becomes a marker in our life and identity. Listening to that same song years later can bring back a flood of vivid memories, sometimes so powerful that it can result in joy, tears or more.
Quotes, clichés and even brand jingles more-or-less hold the same powerful properties as lyrics. Some people rigidly live their lives by a chapter from the Bible, the musings of a political figure or the slogan of a brand.
Every day, we are searching for meaning and definition in our lives. We are speculating, assuming, testing and seeking validation in our interactions; hungry to assimilate with the content even if it’s ambiguous.
The best mentors I’ve ever had the privilege to work with have not given me answers, but more questions. They created a space of ambiguity and interpretation. A safe place to have only tools and no answers.
Ambiguity is a good thing as it harbours uncertainty, and uncertainty provides discovery, critical thought and imagination. It’s the place where there is no right or wrong, just perspective.
Our mind has an educated ability to fill in the blanks with estimated information (even if incorrect) when faced with uncertainty as a means of survival. It’s a challenge to fight the need to know an outcome, as the emphasis on producing certainty has been ingrained in us since childhood.
As a thought: What if your incessant need to flip to the answers in the back of the book for the fear of uncertainty, is the same reason you couldn’t work out the answer in the first place?