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Clearview,  Revisited,  Simply Said

New Series – Poets of the Fall, Clearview simply said – 8th episode

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Mood-swings ?

“If you know you don’t know something, how do you get a clear view? It’s by asking.” – Marko Saaresto

I’ve already written about The Labyrinth, but since I am making this series, there is no way I can skip this song, right. So I read my post about the song… hmm! Difficult to top that, I thought: Poets of the Fall – The Labyrinth. But I’ve gotta try. I love that song for so many reasons that it is almost impossible to pick just one angle to look at it. After being uplifted by Center Stage, comes The Labyrinth knocking on my door, asking: “Tissue?” and I’d go: “What?“, and then some half second later I’d call back: “Wait! A cartload please!“… Talk about mood-swings… Poets of the Fall effect!

Episode 8 – The Labyrinth

Have you ever read the title of a song and without listening to it, it starts playing in your head? Well, I have, and it is particularly true with The Labyrinth… and the first lines that come to mind are always from the chorus:

Time is a wraith at the point of no return
A memory of the light of day
– Poets of the Fall, The Labyrinth

Maybe, I am extremely biased because I am working on a short story/novel that is based on the notion of time… so this song is thriving in my imagination. But, I have to tell you, from the first listen – and before I started working on the said story – The Labyrinth became THE gem of the album (until I realised that Clearview IS the gem). So what of it? What can I say that I haven’t already said? Can this post add something to the series Clearview simply said, or am I just wasting my time? You tell me.?

The Labyrinth is the kind of song that leaves me wanting more… we all know by now how amazing a singer Marko is, right?! And yet, he manages to blow me away even more with that song. He’s sending intense emotions my way, keeping it smooth and comforting at the same time. When Marko is singing that chorus, he is literally taking my breath away every single time, and tears, chills and undefinable emotions flow through me… He is unreal! I’m shaking just writing this… I have read an article about getting goosebumps while listening to music. It said that, even though the study was on a rather small scale, it seemed evident that something was triggered in the brain that provoked such a reaction when a person listens to a specific song/music. Interesting theory! My brain must be really special then, just saying…  (Read the article here: If music gives you goosebumps, your brain might be special)

The Labyrinth to the Clearview theme

Anyway, I still think that The Labyrinth is about time that passes us by, dragging our lives along, whether we’ve managed to make something we wanted out of them or not. Time is ruthless and unyielding. It is then up to us to make the most of it. Easier said than done when one has no idea of which way to go, right.

Wish I had the power to make you stay
– Poets of the Fall, The Labyrinth

When time is involved, I always think of the Asian philosophy which is looking at time as a river flowing downstream rather than how we – Westerners – see it as a flow, that has gone and can never be had again. We are running after something we have lost, or we think we have, instead of seeing how much of it we have left to live for. Is Marko talking about time in the line above? I am not sure that I know… is he talking about someone, in particular, fading away… hard to say. Both ideas are tangible…

There were a few lines from The Labyrinth that left me pensive. Not because of the thoughts behind them, but rather because I could not make total sense of them. I know I have missed something crucial in the lyrics that prevents me from deciphering it completely. It is not a bad thing though, no one has all the answers, after all, not even Marko. But let’s see if these lines can show the red thread going through Clearview.

Three acts of cruel design […]
– Poets of the Fall, The Labyrinth

What are these “three acts” he is talking about? I am still not sure about this. And which “cruel design” is he referring to? Whose “cruel design” is it? Time, as a Wraith, who controls our fate. And as such, how are we to interpret those “three acts of cruel design“… The funny thing is that I understand perfectly the meaning behind the words, on an emotional level. Yet, I am unable to explain it so that it would make sense to any of you – or me. It’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it? Understanding without understanding. Feeling until we are left speechless… in front of these words.

For the sake of thrill would you own the kill
Would you impose your will on another still
– Poets of the Fall, The Labyrinth

Clearview on what…

“If you know you don’t know something, how do you get a clear view? It’s by asking.” – Marko Saaresto

Sometimes, we are trying so hard “to make it through the day“, that we don’t see what’s right in front of us. So, we struggle over and over, and we fight our own demons and our fears brought on by others. We can’t fit in because we’re getting lost within ourselves. Looking outside the box becomes an impossible feat. Without giving up, we overlook the simplest of things that could set us free and on our way… meanwhile, time is passing and our years with it… we still don’t give up, until the end comes and what we aimed for has not yet happened. Gosh, this is depressing!

There is a glimmer of hope in all this though… these lines below, I don’t know why but I imagine Marko smiling while singing this:

Disconnect the dots
And against all odds
Still survive
– Poets of the Fall, The Labyrinth

Everything and everyone is connected. All the bad things are intertwined with the good, and focusing only on the bad won’t help to make it through. I believe that getting a clear view of what is holding us back, discarding it so that we can free ourselves from the net of time we created, might surprise us if we let it. What is it that influences us to stay where we are although we don’t want to be there? Why do we let it? Where is our own worth in all this? Who are we? Again, Marko does not bring any answer… he does what we all do at some point or another in our lives, he is assessing life to find the right questions. Of course, this is a strong reminder of a verse from Dying to LiveTwilight Theater (2010).

I’ve come to stand before a silent wall
Finally a chance to find a question
To point out the right answer after all …this time
– Poets of the Fall, Dying to Live

My two cents… we don’t have to be afraid of time. It might not be the foe we all think it is, but rather an ally if we so wish it.

Next episode: Crystalline

Thanks for reading,
Take care! ?

About the series…

“Clearview is a clear view on things that you are unclear about basically, because […] it’s really, simply said it’s about asking. If you think you know something, that’s fine, but if you know you don’t know something, how do you get a clear view? It’s by asking. So, that’s basically what it’s about. But that’s a, I think also, a very big topic that we could really talk, like, a lot.”
– Marko Saaresto, August 2017 (transcript by Yours Truly)

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  • Suz

    I was lucky enough to be able to see/hear this song performed live and if we’re talking about goosebumps, I was covered. This song was definitely meant to be performed and experienced live.
    One of the lines that gets to me is “time and again, rig and replay…”, not only do I just really like how that line sounds, it makes me think of not giving up.
    And then this line, “More brutally sliced by lie than blade…”, I can almost feel the pain in that line, yet I still love it.
    For the 3 acts of cruel design, I used to think they were the 3 lines that followed that one,
    Disconnect the dots
    And against all odds
    Still survive
    but I can’t see how against all odds is an act/action.
    Disconnecting the dots, yes that could be an act/action.
    Even surviving could be, it could even be cruel if surviving in this life only brings you pain, but how is against all odds some kind of action? I don’t think it is so I suppose my theory of those being the 3 acts is incorrect, and I wonder if we’ll ever know.

    • clairepeek

      Hi Suz!

      I don’t think there is any right or wrong about interpreting a song; I think that a theory can be just as good, even if it remains incomplete. Just like you, I love the line “More brutally sliced by lie than blade”, it made such an impact on me when I heard the hurt behind it… repeating myself now, but how does he do that? Seriously.

      This song is so special and powerful… a gem, right.

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