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Bon Iver – Holocene Lyrics 6 years ago
I frequent this site- but have never been prompted to sign up for an account until now.

I have been listening to this song regularly for over a year and never gave it too much thought beyond the beauty in the idea of the vastness of the universe simultaneously causing humility and appreciation.

However, the other day this song hit me so hard and I literally put it on repeat for hours.

For me, Justin (as others have touched on) uses the chorus and verses in juxtaposition to one another. Each verse is a recollection of a point of maturity. The first verse- being drunk on halloween is growing beyond a children's holiday into adulthood. The second verse is obviously more a direct reference to time as the house is no longer there- but for me it speaks to a relationship: "Automatic brought the years you'd talk for me". The third, again, like the first references a holiday. This speaks to me personally as me and my older brother "connect" often on holidays (we live far apart) by smoking up and disseminating the relevant season and catch up on life.

Each of these "moments" in his life are times when he seemed happy or perhaps, grounded. Substances, whether alcohol, drugs or music, art, literature and relationships bring him to a point where he feels at ease and connected to the world. It then reaches a head that presents in the respective chorus- the insurmountable, almost limitless universe and the humility of realizing your insignificance. I love the imagery of him above this vast frozen ground between highways that are weaving a connection to another place- to another road, stretching to the edge of the continent and beyond.

The point that struck me the other day though, was the beauty in the title. Holocene: an epoch spanning over 10,000 years- "connectedness" to the earth from present to the past. Not only are we are aware the world is vast- we are aware that we are only a small speck in time. There is beauty in such simple humanity of a flickering flame, the pink hues of a sunrise- things enjoyed by humankind for eons. It connects our present world of Facebook and Smartphones to centuries of humanity that existed before us- and to the future that lays ahead.

He has these "moments" where everything is right with the world: "not the needle nor the thread, the lost decree... Saying nothing was enough for me". Conversation is not needed, you are absorbed in the moment of the "hallowed bright" of Christmas Eve or "Laying waste to Halloween", but "at once", you are struck with the realization that your "moment" is not significant... "I was not magnificent". In this though, there is joy in the feeling that despite that, you are still a part of something.

You are a part of the fabric of humanity- over 10,000 years of 'people'. "Hulled from far the highway aisle", separated from race, religion, politics and war- but connected to love, jealously, empathy, depression and beauty- emotions spanning borders and time. "Someway baby its part of me, apart from me".

Holocene reminds us, humbles us and empowers us.

I have enjoyed reading what others have thought of the song- well perhaps except for those that referred to the lyrics as "garbage"- maybe my thoughts will make sense to someone else.

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