There’s a clock ticking in my living room, and right now it’s all I hear, as I sit and let Dermot Kennedy’s song “Sunday” sink into my heart and my mind. The lingering piano chords move over my soul like dry snow swirling in gusts over pavement on a cold winter’s day.
As I listen, it is (actually) a Sunday.
Today, I plan to go to the mountains with my partner for a little while. It feels more sacred, because Dermot Kennedy’s words are words of loss: “I’d give up all the world for just one Sunday that we had.” Knowing that these times are unavoidably temporary, I treasure my moments even that little bit more.
Sunday is a day of connection, for so many of us who are bound by a Monday to Friday work week. Saturday is chore day, and a day to recover from the physical, mental, and emotional demands of our day-to-day. Sunday is a day to really spend time with our loved ones.
We are fragile, though. Sometimes, in whatever way, we experience loss.
Dermot Kennedy’s “Sunday” expresses – in his words, in the way he plays the piano, and also in the nuances of his voice like an Irish bear – how our sense of loss is magnified by how deeply we experience our love. Within the loss, though, there is also gratitude – gratitude for having had the opportunity for such a rich and significant relationship at all. When you lose a love so deep, and then you look around at others, maybe hoping that they will understand your devastation, you come to understand that you were so much luckier than so many others for even having had such a love at all.
He’s not trying to recapture or relive the love that is gone. He isn’t trying to find someone who is in any way like her – he knows, perhaps, that putting that kind of demand on another relationship is unfair to any other person.
He does feel a kind of anger that comes from the pain of losing such a love.
But ultimately, a sense of gratitude overcomes that anger.
Who am I to curse the past?
Just ‘cause magic didn’t last
You’re one of few, boy.
Who can safely say they had somebody truly love them back?
There’s an emotional bravery in the song. He had to let go of a deep love. The loss left his heart battered and bruised. There is no weakness in this – emotional weakness would be the attempt to recapture what was lost in some way, to try to manipulate life into some form of compensation for the sense of loss, in order to avoid admitting it ever happened. That’s the kind of thing that turns people into manipulators or bullies. That’s not where he is headed. He recognizes and accepts:
The party’s over, she’s not coming back.
He’s not giving up on everything – his joy for life continues, although dampened by his grief. The love that he knew continues to somehow spark his heart.
In time, I will heal.
The moonlight’s on the open road, tonight, it’s not so bad…
The moonlight on the open road, a bit of a glistening shine on the blacktop. The sunny day has come to an end, but the journey continues.