“There isn’t going to be any turning point. … There isn’t going to be any next-month-it’ll-be-better, next fucking year, next fucking life. You don’t have any time to wait for. You just got to look around you and say, “So this is it. This is really all there is to it. This little thing.” Everybody needing such little things and they can’t get them. Everybody needing just a little… confidence from somebody else and they can’t get it. Everybody, everybody fighting to protect their little feelings. Everybody, you know, like reaching out tentatively but drawing back. It’s so shallow and seems so… fucking… it seems like such a shame. It’s so close to being like really right and good and open and amorphous and giving and everything. But it’s not. And it ain’t gonna be.”Janis Joplin, September 1969.
Can’t say I’ve always been a devoted fan of Janis Joplin (although I do love her Cheap Thrills album and her stage presence was fucking electric), but I recently read this sentiment that was quoted in The New Yorker and thought it would be important to share and reflect on her words. Joplin, the Queen of Rock n’ Roll herself, perfectly describes what it is to live. What it is to move past yourself and realize that everybody is always looking, searching, or just waiting for something more. The great illusion of it all. I think Joplin perfectly words it by saying that everybody is “reaching out but tentatively pulling back”. She described that push and pull that everybody feels. This is it. This little thing. This is all we’ve got.