Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"The Shell" - Rose Cousins

The human body has an amazing ability to adapt. We can survive extreme temperatures, (which is why us Canadians still exist), and situations. For example; when we feel threatened our body goes into "Fight or Flight" mode. We release hormones that speed up our heart rate, open our lungs and increase blood flow and pressure to our muscles in preparation to run or defend ourselves. Adaptation is how people overcome disease or sickness, severe operations like organ transplants, or even simply gain muscle.  In the BBC series, "Inside the Human Body", they "show how existence is a struggle and how, minute by minute, from your first breath to your last, your body performs countless small miracles to keep you alive." The series interviews a man who can hold his breath underwater for 9 minutes, a man who swims in glacial lakes so freezing that they would kill a normal person, and a woman who has lived for 10 years on nothing but potato chips.

Thug life
Repeated and consistent behaviour teaches our body to adapt in a new way.Our bodies are programmed to survive. Even our hearts (emotionally and literally).  When we become involved in a situation where we get hurt, we instinctively react differently the next time, to protect ourselves.  We develop a thick skin, and surround ourselves in a "shell". The hermit crab is born without a shell.  Its body is soft and vulnerable to predators, eventually it seeks an abandoned shell for protection.  People live their lives like the hermit crab; pre-shell or post-shell.  And I wonder if it's better to be oblivious to pain and live life in a care/shell-free paradise, or if it's better to protect yourself?

Rose Cousins
I initially heard the song, "The Shell", by Rose Cousins, when my cousin (yes, another one) burst into my office offering to pay me to write about it.  Of course I accepted the money, put on my sweatpants and started blogging.  Just kidding.. Ok, well only about the money, not the sweatpants.  I haven't sold out just yet.  I listened to the song once and immediately agreed to write a blog about it.  Rose Cousins has that earthy, folksy, honey-coated voice that I just fall head over heels for.  Rose and her music emanate a beautiful kind of simplicity.  Her music video by Southern Souls is uncomplicated, gimmick free, and showcases her incredible, raw talent.

In an effort to ruin all of my previous credibility from this post, I leave you with a monologue about adaptation from my guilty pleasure, Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy.

"Adapt or die.  As many times as we've heard it, the lesson doesn't get easier. The problem is we're human.  We want more than just to survive. We want love. We want success.  We want to be the best that we can be. So, we fight like hell to get those things. Anything else feels like death."

Please note: I couldn't find the lyrics for "The Shell" anywhere, so I transcribed them myself as best as I could.

What is it you want from me
Is there something that I can’t see
All my words are broken on the ground

It gets so hard to talk to you
You’re covered in this shell you grew
It’s like you do and don’t want me around

You stand by a castle moat reading everything I wrote
Looking for the sharks to pull you in
And I sit on the banks and call, reading how to kill them all
Looking for the way to talk you down
Yeah, yeah

Oh maybe it would be easier if you felt the same for her
Then your heart could rest and want no more
Cause I want someone to hold me near, and it will not be you my dear
And you think you could ever let me go
Let me go x 10

Oh It gets so hard to talk to you
You’re covered in this shell you grew
It’s like you do and don’t want me around