My friend Tripp recently published a brief musing on suffering and death: it’s kind of goth. I’ve sat with the musing. Part of what he’s wrestling with are the ways many Christians often make suffering trite by attempting to make God responsible for it ( in some way) or at least responsible for making it meaningful. What stuck with me and what trips me up, is his having said God suffer’s and dies everyday. I get it, but I can’t help but think this says too much, and is also a means to bring God too close, too understandable.
It’s a great song, I love to dance to it. As I was dancing to this haunting,melancholic, tortured song I was aware of the contrast between the joy I was feeling as I danced and the pain of a failing relationship sung about in the song. As I danced I also recalled the circumstances of Ian Curtis’ death and his own physical and mental health struggles and suffering.
Such an amazing song. Such beauty that touches so many. Love Will Tear Us Apart invariably fills the dance floor.
I feel there is something here. I have great wonderment at how such beauty, joy ( even hope), come out of expressions of pain and suffering.
As I danced I thought and prayed (for Ian Curtis, for others wrestling with their demons like he did, perhaps dancing next to me), and I observed in amazement how my awareness of the pain of a failing relationship sung about in the song, didn’t diminish the joy in dancing to a haunting pain filled song of longing for something more.
Love Will Tear us Apart is larger than the pain of a failing relationship, Joy division and Ian Curtis’s songs inhabit a world that encompasses but is larger than Ian’s tragic story. Even so without the pain, without Ian Curtis and his pain and suffering there wouldn’t be the music of Joy Division, nor the joy found in dancing to it, as we connect with a longing for something beyond pain and suffering.
Ian Curtis’s suffering and troubled mental life wasn’t for the purpose of my enjoyment in dancing to one of his songs more than 30 years after his death. Even so, out of who he was and the circumstances of his life and mental state he created some amazing music, in which there is great longing and joy. There wasn’t purpose to his suffering, but for a time at least he reached beyond pain and suffering and wove that pain into great music. What I find in Joy Divisions songs and lyrics is longing and beauty in the midst of pain, frustration, and depression.
Things to contemplate, something contemplated in the movement of bodies on a dance floor some 30 years after the song was recorded.