Pink Floyd & The Lists Which Need Revision

photo by Carlo Mirante

photo by Carlo Mirante

If the last 29 years have accomplished anything, it's creating the list of Things Which Make Emily Ann Peterson Cry.

Here is a sample from that list...

  • exhaustion
  • hunger
  • pain, emotional or physical (duh)
  • kindness, in any amount
  • loneliness, mine or someone else's
  • the rollercoaster that is grief
  • unrelenting hope
  • unrelenting defeat
  • baby animals

Someday I'll draw up a helpful venn diagram and hand it out on first dates. That should go over well.

But I digress... per a friend's expert suggestion, I watched the director's cut of "Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii" on Friday night. I was snuggled up in bed, watching it on Youtube, via my phone, propped up with a pillow - the height of cinematic perfection, I know.

About 20 minutes in, there I laid crying. Like a baby.

"Oh no. Have I been thinking too much about my generations' growing non-communication or my personal knack at failure again? Nah, I'm probably just hungry and exhausted." 

As the last scene of the film faded out, I wiped the tears from my face, slammed my little eyes shut, and went to sleep. Waking the next morning with puffy eyes yet fully rested, I got a bowl of cereal and cup of coffee. 

"Maybe last night was a fluke. Maybe I can watch it again without my emotions getting the best of me." 

So less than 8 hours after my first viewing, I watched it again "Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii" - the whole thing - in the light of day. 

Nope. Cried again. Like an even bigger baby.

Quite honestly, Pink Floyd was new to me. I grew up on a steady diet of MoTown, Bach Suites, piano concertos, and bouquets of classic CCM. (Amy Grant, Steve Green, and the like.) My parents were and still are the furthest things from festival-attending Floydians you'll ever meet. 

This means until Friday, I hadn't really listened to anything by Pink Floyd. You know what I mean, the turn-off-the-phone-crank-up-the-volume-lie-on-the-floor kind of listening. They were on my list of Artists to Fully Digest. I am proud to have revised that list. (Phew! That was a close one.)

The film features 2 things I would've never imagined adding to my list of Ways to Transcend:

  1. obtain and display an ego slightly larger than the size of Pink Floyd's bass cabs
  2. wear a shirt as tight as the condoms I hope Pink Floyd wore with their groupies

Perhaps I should consider ego and attire in my pursuit of transcendence? All I know is that particular list is being revised due to the immense amount of clairvoyance I experienced from Pink Floyd within this film.

So I've made revisions to lists of Things That Make Me Cry and Movies To Re-Watch ASAP and have also added a few items to my list of Documentaries to Watch and Christmas Wish List.

I can't put my finger on why my reaction to "Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii" was to cry, but I do know this: it accessed a part of myself I badly needed to address. Maybe you too? (See also: the magic and beauty of art.) 

Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii is a 1972 film featuring Pink Floyd performing six songs in the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy. It was directed by Adrian Maben and recorded in the month of October with 24 tracks studio quality without a live audience The performances of "Echoes," "A Saucerful of Secrets," and "One of These Days" were filmed from October 4, 1971 to October 7, 1971.