For the record, this is my second post about John Mayer, particularly a commentary on one of his songs or, I should, one of my favorite songs from his “Heavier Things” album: “Home Life”. John Mayer is perhaps one of those musicians of my generation that poetically sheds light on who I am. He’s able to do that through many of his songs, but I want to focus on this song that I’ve been tirelessly listening to. In addition to the catchy melody of the song, there are some lines in the song that I want to individually single and spell out how some of them perfectly captures me.
“See I refuse to believe / that my life’s gonna be / just some string of incompletes / never to lead me to anything remotely close to home life”
“And I will go to my grave / with the life that I gave / not just some melody line / on a radio wave / it dissipates / and soon evaporates / but home life doesn’t change”
I take these lines as intrinsically connected to one another insofar as they capture the philosophy Mayer and I share in regards to how we want to live out our lives. I suppose everyone holds this philosophy whether they’re aware of it or not, but the trouble is that life throws heavy currents against us that render us oblivious to how we should live out our lives. There is an inherent purpose in our individual lives that we are free to accomplish, and realizing and achieving that purpose should the focus of our lives. The trouble of mass media of our times is that it distracts us from that focus and we are only to see the effects of it. Therefore, life should be lived out free from fear, but with the courage to refuse to let our lives be just a “string of incompletes”, failing to find and pursue that purpose our lives are individually made for. Happiness is being able to live out your life with that focus and nothing else. One of the major characteristics of our society is that it is unhappy, and the reason why it is unhappy is that it’s not purpose-driven. Our society is drowned with so many distractions – social media, politics, bad news, and a pile of external pressures of having to be a certain this or that. The line of the song conveys that there is meaning in life, contrary to popular belief these days, and that meaning is grounded in being in tuned with one’s inherent purpose that found through honest internal examination.
“I can tell you this much / I will marry just once / And if it doesn’t work out / give her half of my stuff / it’s fine with me / we said eternity”
This line uniquely captures commitment and reality being interwoven. If there is one thing all humanity of our times share, it would be the struggle for commitment. There is a direct correlation between purpose and commitment. As there is an increase in the realization of one’s purpose, there is also a growing sense of commitment at the same time. When Consciousness and Purpose meet, the two naturally make love. There is beauty in that love as is the case for every man and a woman making love, and the child conceived through that love is Commitment. As each of us begin to realize and pursue our God-given purpose, a sense of commitment just naturally grows. And that commitment is not just for that particular purpose but for every aspect of our lives – relationships, jobs, family, etc. In the contrary, the lack of a growing sense of commitment is the major characteristic of our throw-away culture. But going back to the point, the reality is that the Ideal is difficult to maintain in our age, let alone cultivate. The line of the song conveys that marriage such a strong divinely inspired human act that not even divorce can absolve it. And it’s such an utter shame how couple attempt to dissolve their marriage due to financial, material, and human circumstances. Mayer points it out by saying that his future wife can have half of the stuff they had together because possession is not a legitimate measure of the vows they made together.
Overall, the song is just a beautiful, and I urge you to listen to it with a reflective undertone.
More JM song commentaries to come.