The 7 Deadly Sins: A Musical Perspective – Editorial Series – Part 6 of 7: Envy

I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller. I wish I had a girl who looked good; I would call her.

Remember Skee-Lo? Old school, fun hip hop. Sure, call him a one-hit-wonder, but isn’t that better than a no-hit-loser? I think so. I’m sure Skee-Lo wishes he’d followed up that tasty jam with an even bigger one, but alas, some things are not meant to be. And there isn’t a hell of a whole lot you can do about it.

“I want to not want,” said an Amy to us once. “That’s what I want,” we all quickly concurred. Sigh… see? Even in our figuring what we apparently truly wanted – that is, to not want – we slammed our collective fist down on the flashing red button. “Gimme that! Give it! I want to not want! That’s mine!!” Funny creatures we are.

I guess that’s what “enlightenment” or “becoming zen” or whatever-you-want-to-call-it is – getting to the point where there is no want or not want… there just… is. And being completely satisfied with that state. Is that it? Being satisfied (and I mean truly satisfied here, not fooling oneself) with one’s lot in life, no matter what it is? Maybe that’s what they call happiness.

As we explored last week, our sinful ways can arguably all be traced back to pride. Envy is no different. Jealousy. We all think this, probably more often than we all think we do – “I want what he/she/they have.” It’s not about any kind of need. We may convince ourselves to think it’s about what we need, but come on – what do we really need at the end of the day? Food, shelter, rest, a bit of fun once in a while… some human contact… that’s pretty much it, no? Try telling Skee-Lo that. Poor guy thought he needed a car, hot women, this, that, the other thing… the list went on and on. Poor li’l guy.

One thing I do need (and want) to do is offer my appreciation for Ms. Amy Sparrow and her sixth (!) contribution of original photography to The 7 Deadly Sins: A Musical Perspective editorial series. You can check out the other shots in the series, as well as her other beautiful pieces, on her flickr Photostream.

Bullet Proof… I wish I was…

There are so many songs, countless songs about wanting, wishing, longing for something, something we don’t have, that we just know would make us feel better if we had it. Why is that? Is it because, for some tragic reason, the artistic human seems to thrive in times of sorrow and despair? There’s a reason there’s a type of music called the Blues and not the Pinks. The well of sadness is far deeper and, in my opinion, richer than the happy basket of rainbows.

I think I should write for Hallmark.

On the losing end of a wishbone, and I won’t pretend not to mind…

Oh, I know there are thousands of songs out there about being happy, and in love, and yaaay and all that. But how often do those very songs make us wonder, “Man, [artist] sounds so happy right there… I wish I was that happy.” Maybe it’s just me, or this particular melancholic (yet curiously enjoyable) mood I’m in. I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade and reduce every happy song to something that makes us realize what we don’t have. Some songs are just plain happy and there’s just no two ways about it. So damn happy you just wanna… just wanna choke ‘em, y’know? Ya just wanna…

*ahem*

Sorry about that. All that happiness makes me a little loopy sometimes. Back to task.

Wishful, sinful, wicked you… can’t escape the blue…

I’m really not trying to bum you out here, seriously. If you’ve read this far, I hope it means that you’ve mined some nugget of enjoyment and that you’ll stick around to the end, my friend. I hope you stick around. I wish we could talk face to face. I wish we could muse over all of this and polish off that third of a bottle of cigar scotch I have left. I really do. I wish you were here. Maybe we’ll meet (again…) someday, who knows. I hope we do.

I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up…

With regard to sin, wanting and wishing aren’t necessarily bad things. Wanting something better for ourselves gets us off the couch and working to make it happen. Wanting something better for others makes us volunteer our time to help the less fortunate. Call it productive ambition; things aren’t the way we want them, so we work to improve them.

That’s not envy. Envy kicks in – as we’ve explored with all the other sins – when the wanting and wishing becomes excessive. It becomes the focal point of our existence. It’s most often felt toward another person. Many of us – far too many, actually – can’t help but assign someone, often arbitrarily, the hallowed title of Model, Goal, Archetype. We make them the template for the idea of what (we think) we want to be… our perfect Self. Then we work ourselves into the ground trying to achieve that idea.

Wish there was something real, wish there was something true…

Let’s get something straight: it really is just an idea. There is no perfect self, for any of us. It’s not that mankind is already “perfect”, or is “flawed” by its very nature, no. Mankind just is. Whether we’ve accomplished every task on our list for Friday, August 3, 2012, and met the expectations we’ve imposed on ourselves for today, in the end… really… We’ll be just fine. There’ll be a Saturday, then a Sunday…

Perfection is unattainable – because it’s just a concept we’ve created – and this thing we call “failure” – which I like to call “learning” – is just a part of life. And if you can’t enjoy life, every little bit of it, even the dark times… well, man, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe find somebody who does, or does their damnedest to enjoy it, and learn from them? There’s a start. “Fail”, then try again. And again. Before you know it, you’ll find out that you’re living. So relax. The sun coming up tomorrow doesn’t depend on anything you do. It’ll happen. Whether you sleep through it or watch it come up is up to you.

Hey, I wish I had my way, ‘cause everyday would be a Friday…

Wait a minute. It is Friday. Stop wishing and start living, Vancouver. Myself, I’ve been wishing for a grilled cheese sandwich for the about two and a half hours… and now I’m going to go make that happen.

Jealous?