Wounded in All the Right Places @kdlang

First, a few preliminaries to this post. (1) I need to thank die hard kd fans for telling me about this song. (2) I think this CD is out of print and it is not even on iTunes anymore. So to find it, you kind of  have to go to eBay or Amazon and hope someone wants to part with their copy. If you can find this track, it’s well worth it. But it took me several months of having it on my Amazon wish list before it appeared. (3)The lyrics are not readily available either. I did the best I could. Normally, kd’s vocal  elocution is impeccable. But on this track, there were a couple places I could not quite make it out. And that’s rare. But I think I got 99% of it for y’all.

Of course, it is no secret that k.d. introduced me to Tibetan Buddhism and that I have taken to it like a bum on a pork chop. I am sure there are countless others out there who can say the same. To me,  this song captures what happens to the human soul after a certain amount of hard core Tibetan meditation. And even if you do not meditate in this way, if you meditate at all, you likely have the beginnings of the pain of realization that comes with it.

Coming to know your mind:

On one Tibetan view (if not all) the point of meditation is to come to know your own mind. And ultimately, this means that you glimpse your own Buddha Nature. Buddha Nature is a “loaded” term that means a lot of things. But suffice to say that it refers to the ultimate goodness that is human nature. And that sounds just “so special”. But here’s the kicker. To get to a point where you even have one nano-second basking in your Buddha Nature, you are going to have some serious “letting go” pains. And seriously, you “cannot kiss away the tears”. Nope. You have to just feel it, to experience it, and to come to see that this suffering too is impermanent.

Of course, I only have my own experience. But this level of pain and suffering is industrial strength. Sogyal Rinpoche, one main guru I follow, often uses the analogy of the clouds. The clouds  prevent us from seeing the sky, but the sky is always there. What he does not tell you (at least in my experience) is that removing those clouds hurts quite a bit. After all, our own personal “clouds” are what we deem to be reality. And when these are shown to be a shadow of T R U T H. It’s disorienting, disconcerting and otherwise uncomfortable. It’s painful. But if you are disciplined enough to stay the course; to get wounded properly, there is another place waiting.

Wounded in all the right places:

So, let’s look at these lyrics, shall we?

  • I can’t kiss away these tears. I wouldn’t miss your edges, your cliffs. They are clay, they are clues gone astray  finding the ones we refuse.

Suffering happens when Truth is understood. But even though there are edges and cliffs, we would not choose to avoid them. Ultimately, finding “the ones we refuse” means finding our Buddha Nature.

  • And we breathe in the breeze, and stir through the leaves that still fall on our feet covering the lies we reveal. We are wounded in all the right places.

We sit in meditation to “breathe in the breeze” (to come to know our own mind). While we do this, we observe our cluttered thoughts; the leaves that “fall on our feet covering the lies” that meditation reveals to us. It hurts. But its a good hurt. We are wounded “correctly”.

  • As we lay gazing up, carved our names on welcoming bark. Didn’t cut, didn’t bleed. Lift us up to what we believe.

The welcoming bark is Compassion that, according to Buddhism, is the primordial Truth. It is impervious to the lies of the ego which is why it does not “cut or bleed”. But it will draw you in to “what we believe”, which is in our Buddha Nature.

  • I was torn. I was young, reaching up. A forest of creatures looked on suffering nevermore the lies we reveal.

    We are wounded in all the right places.

Meditation is difficult (hence the feelings of being torn and “young”). There are many unknowns, you do it in utter “aloneness”. No one can really help you. You have to find your way yourself. But once you do, there is true reality, the non dualistic world (no you and me), just pure being. The “forest of creatures” that look on is that true reality; the liberation of your own “clouds”, your “lies” that prevent you from seeing truth in and of itself.

  • I feel it all. I feel it all.

Letting go of our egos, our lives, the infinite details that are not grounded in truth, hurts. Meditation forces these realizations on you, and it is insidiously permeating. You definitely feel it. Ouch!

  • Who am I to talk. Who am I to punish you. Come around and put you down.

Meditation reveals the substantive nature of compassion.

  • Left your marks on me, left your what’s true. See it perfectly, living memories left you here for me. Left you here for me. I feel it all. I feel it all. I feel it all.

Buddha Nature is forever present, just hidden. The first experience of this, no matter how fleeting, no matter how unsure you may be if this is what you are feeling, you “see it perfectly”. And you “feel it” affect parts of you heretofore unknown.

 

Wounded In All the Right Places

I can’t kiss away these tears

I wouldn’t miss your edges, your cliffs

they are clay, they are clues gone astray

finding the ones we refuse. And we breathe in the breeze

and stir through the leaves that still fall on our feet

covering the lies we reveal.

We are wounded in all the right places.

As we lay gazing up, carved our names on welcoming bark.

Didn’t cut, didn’t bleed. Lift us up to what we believe.

I was torn. I was young, reaching up. A forest of creatures looked on

suffering nevermore the lies we reveal.

We are wounded in all the right places.

I feel it all. I feel it all.

Who am I to talk.

Who am I to punish you. Come around and put you down.

Left your marks on me, left your what’s true.

See it perfectly, living memories left you here for me.

Left you here for me.

I feel it all. I feel it all. I feel it all.

Lang, Butler, Bridgeman, Catto 2009

To find this track you can check here.

2 Comments

  1. Have always loved this. Have spent hours listening to it over and over again. Learned how to skip over the part where what’s his name is giving his opinion on things, got the spots down perfectly. 🙂 But it’s been over a year since I’ve listened to it. So thanks for the reminder and your Buddhist perspective. 🙂

    Like

    1. Yeah. That video is pretty crummy, and it leaves out part of the song that are on the CD. I’m surprised that kd’s management does not release it on a “greatest hits” album or something. Really great stuff.

      Like

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