There are so many incredible Pink Floyd songs. Deciding which one is best is a matter of opinion. However, in 2017, Billboard created a top 50 song list for the band, putting Wish You Were Here at # 1.
I have to agree.
Like most Pink Floyd songs, we get enthralled by their sonic compositions. Their experimental rock mesmerizes our essential nature. Each being experiences Pink Floyd in a different way.
Our imagination can take off when we are intensely listening to a song. We may even wonder what the composer was attempting to convey.
When I think of the title phrase wish you were here, I get images of people having a grand time in the most enchanting location. They’re taking photos of smiles and crystal blue skies.
They’re snapping pics of lavish buffets and cocktails with jumbo shrimp dangling off the side like cliffhangers.
In a nanosecond, the images are sent to a friend with the message, ‘wish you were here.’
In the past, the sentiment wasn’t so swiftly delivered. Instead, we browsed the postcard rack, at some cheesy gift shop, looking for a picture we didn’t even take.
We took the stack of .10 cards back to our hotel room, scrawled a few sentences about what an incredible time we were having, and with the ancient instrument called a pen, we signed it, ‘wish you were here.’
We’ve probably been saying it since the Pony Express. I’m betting those horses had a few cards in their bags with the same sentiment.
It’s a nice thing to say, but is it really what we mean?
In my opinion, wishing someone was with me meant I missed them. Missing someone is not a pleasant feeling. It’s an empty one.
The depth of that emptiness varies. Not every hole measures the same.
The space may be in our bed, front porch, or in the private nook at the local coffee shop. No matter what physical spaces their energy filled, their true essence exists in our hearts.
My question is, can we truly have a good time with a hole in our hearts?
Personally, I do not recall ever wishing someone else was with me when I was having a fabulous time. I was in the moment, taking it all in. I wasn’t caring about who was there and who wasn’t. The magical slice of life was mine.
Did I ever wish someone I loved could experience the lush beauty or the sweet aromas surrounding me?
Did I ever wish my kids could bask in the stunning views of the lake and sip coffee with me on the balcony?
Sure, but I never let it stop me from being grateful for my gift.
Perhaps instead of ‘wish you were here’, we should say, ‘wish you could see this’!
But that’s not the title of the Pink Floyd’s song. The title Wish You Were Here is not about Roger Waters’ vacation. He was telling us a piece of his heart was gone!
The Song Hits Me Hard in 2022
It was impossible to ignore the hypnotic chords when Pink Floyd’s, Wish You Were Here came on the radio.
I stared off into space, feeling the words, “two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl year after year.”
A sadness emerged.
I questioned it.
I pay attention to my emotions and often need to ask them, “where are you coming from, and why now?”
“Who is it, that I wish was here?”
The answer I got was, “nobody.”
The answer I got was, “I miss myself.”
I remembered a time in my life when no matter what was happening, I could draw a silver lining around it. I could make jokes, which automatically melted the worry.
But Covid did something to me. It did something to all of us, and I am not talking about a high fever or congested chest. It was an isolation of self. We weren’t just kept away from each other; we were detached from our own spirits.
I realized the emptiness, and what I was missing was me. I wished my soul was back in my body, singing.
After some research, I discovered, Roger Waters based the song, Wish You Were Here, on a poem he wrote about founding member Roger Keith Barret.
Syd as they called him, was the original front man and primary songwriter. As a free-flowing guitarist, Barret was influential in bringing echo and feedback into the recordings of the late ’60s, but in 1967 after the band’s first single release, Arnold Layne, Syd Barret began to unwind.
Waters believes LSD contributed to Barret’s breakup with reality, and a year later, Syd Barret was ousted from the band for excessive drug use.
In a recent interview with Joe Rogan, Waters admits he misses Barret who died in 2006 but claims the original poem was written during his friend’s ordeal with schizophrenia.
What Rogers was missing during the penning of the poem was his friend’s mind! He wished Syd was back HERE on a plane of existence they could both share.
Like Syd’s journey, the psychotropic riffs of Wish You Were Here separate us from a world of heroes into the realm of ghosts- the ghosts of our pasts, where we reminisce about the pieces of ourselves that have long gone.
Wish You Were Here pushes us back into the empty heart space as we recall those we lost to death and those we lost to insanity.
You CAN Escape the Fishbowl
You swim in circles. You ride the hamster wheel of life, spinning around and around. But it’s time you stopped. Just STOP!
Like the expression says, “STOP and smell the roses”, or what I like to say is “dip your toe in the ocean.”
By continuously appreciating the moments, you can escape the traumas of the past. You can escape the fishbowl of pain.
There will always be challenges and moments that we can never fully understand, but do we have to?
Trying to figure it all out, doesn’t always lead to resolutions, sometimes we have to stop all the thinking and just be.
By observing the sweet smells, the warm fires, the cool waters or whatever it is that awakens your senses, you CAN enjoy life more.
It takes practice and there will be times when the enchanting moments will come to an end and the sad songs of your mind will be stuck on replay. However, you have the power to switch the station; find a new tune.
Fast Forward into 2023
It’s a beautiful afternoon in South Florida. The convertible’s top is down. As I cruise west into the sun, I hear the melodramatic chords on the radio begin. In the 26th second of Wish You Were Here, David Gilmore coughs. I see the smoke surrounding a man and his guitar.
With my hands resting lightly on the wheel, running over the same old ground, I drift into the place between a veil and a smile. But this time, there is hope at the center of it.
I am no longer a lost soul swimming in a fishbowl. I can tell the difference between heaven and hell, blue skies from pain.
I turn up the volume and sing.
I tell my soul, “I am happy you are here. I missed you.”
The Photo Album of Life
People leave memories in our lives, and those we love, leave imprints. Those spaces will always be there, but they don’t have to hurt.
Take the impressions with you, carry them like a passport.
You’ll know you’ve reached a state of peace when you can sit with a hot latte sprinkled with cinnamon, or a frosty mug of Stella D’ Oro and not care who is with you.
You know you’ve experienced a slice of nirvana when you swoosh down the slopes leaving everyone in your powder path.
It’s you and you alone, grounded in the reality called life!
Now go ahead- take a snapshot but don’t post it on social media. Don’t send it in a text. Instead, create a private photo album of all the times. you and your soul had a blast.
Title it, I AM GLAD YOU ARE HERE.