“if life is just a highway/ then the soul is just a car” …. Meat Loaf, from the song “Objects in the rear view mirror appear closer than they are”
This is a superb song. Meat Loaf is one of the most under rated, and most brilliant, singers we have today.
Yet, this is not a critique on Meat Loaf, or his singing. It is about that very intriguing song title, and about the lines I picked from the song.
When we are driving, we look at the words on the mirror reminding us that objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they actually are.
When are on the highway, we look at these objects and adjust our driving speed or lane accordingly. In India, this is a continuous exercise. It is a dance.
And, when we are on the highway, we often see the road whizzing by. We don’t pay attention to the warning, or sign, on our mirror.
Yet, if indeed life is a highway, and the soul is a car, then try and imagine yourself whizzing along it.
Imagine that the scenes that you see whizzing behind you in the mirror of your memory are the events of your life. You will suddenly realise that these are closer to you than you realise, even though they recede into the distant past and slowly disappear.
Unlike a mirror (or camera lens), which does not apply subjectivity, our souls do. Events that are distant mirages for some, are close by and real for some of us.
I wrote about the Mutiny of 1857, and the bloodbath of our Independence and Partition. The events suddenly became very close for me, and when I was growing up, the same events were far away.
Events we don’t like to remember, disappear into the dim and dark recesses of our unconscious mind faster than we think.
Those that we obsess about are there – closer in that rear view mirror.
Yet, the mirror may well be distorted. What’s more, the distortions change over time. As we age, we remember things differently, the way that we like them to be remembered. What’s more, my distorted mirror is not the same as yours. Which reflects reality? Or, is it that there are hundreds, thousands of real worlds that merge into hundreds, thousands of distorted mirrors?
Meat Loaf is onto something.
The next time you are on that highway, think about the soul on the road. It may make the landscape that much more interesting