Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surrounded by Brothers

It was one of those weeks where the universe or God was sending me a theme to consider. From the movies we watched to the songs I listened to, I was surrounded by the stories of brothers. So, when Oasis' "Wonderwall" came on one night while trying to make the delivered pizza equal a healthy spread, I was thrust into the circle of brothers once again.

Anytime I hear Oasis, my first thought is of the first interviews I saw with them in the late nineties where Liam called George Harrison, one of his idols, a "nipple". Then as I read about Noel and Liam's fights, the anger in their relationship has always stuck with me. If he would call George Harrison names, it isn't surprising him and his brother would regularly come to blows. Listening to he lyrics in "Wonderwall" I idealistically think maybe Noel is writing about Liam. I hope since Oasis has broken up and they are pursuing their individual endeavors they "Don't Look Back in Anger". What they created together was beautiful. "Champagne Supernova" is a masterpiece of brotherly efforts. Noel's songwriting with Liam's vocals are enchanting. The stress of a music career filled with pressure to create, constant touring and fatigue will wear on any relationship. Bands with brothers performing together include The Jackson 5, BeeGees, Avett Brothers, The Beach Boys, The Fray, Kings of Leon, Isely Brothers, Collective Soul, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, and George & Ira Gershwin. This is just to name a few, the list goes on and on. And I haven't even talked about the sisters. That is a lot of music and I imagine a lot of struggle.

I witness the bond between brothers from all angles: as a mother, sister, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, and friend. I am surrounded by men and boys who are brothers. These relationships I am privileged to witness have varying states of contentment and terms. For instance, it is acceptable and entertaining to sit on your brother's head when it comes to my boys; however, I don't think my husband and brother-in-law would find this as entertaining. Well, not at their ages. I didn't witness their childhood fights.

Growing up I was always amazed at my brothers' ability to non-verbally communicate. You could pass by and see them watching a baseball game, and 2 minutes later and still mid-inning they were gone. Whatever food run or video game took a hold of the group didn't require discussion. It makes me smile to watch my husband and his brother continue a conversation they started the last time they saw each other, which normally is several months to a year between visits. My sons are a constant source of brotherly love, and the struggles which come with that love. Bill's cousin, Ian, saw my sons wrestling around and harassing each other at a family picnic. "That is just like how me and Carl were. You watch, they will be best friends."

I watched "The Fighter", "Defiance" and "Brothers" in the span of one week. As Liam Gallagher is singing Noel's probing lyrics, scenes of these movies flood me. Like life they were brothers relating to each other but with varying states of contentment and terms. (I recommend all three movies.) The common thread which stayed with me was to fight is to become stronger as an individual and as brothers. Sibling relationships offer an honest window into yourself.

For my sons, I am grateful to witness this tumultuous bond from the beginning with all the tears and laughter. I am learning my place is to trust them to work through their differences, and as they do their bond will only grow. I hope the wrestling and name calling doesn't wind up on MTV interviews like the Gallagher brothers. It will be sweet if they grow to help each other win the big fight, help each other escape the scars of life or create a camp in the woods to hide from the Nazis. In reality, I think Bill's cousin has it figured out that best friends would be good.

So, time to round up the boys from upstairs for pizza night. There is lots of giggling. Deep breath because someone is probably sitting on someone else's head.


rmlharris said...

Brothers; a great subject. I enjoyed having a brother. A source of commradery and competition.
Someone who is in your family. Someone who is in the same boat you're in. Someone who loves you. Someone you love, respect, look up to.

I enjoyed watching brothers; play, love, inspire, irritate, anger, forgive, respect.

I don't understand someone who would reject their brother. Holding a grudge over nonsense. Who does it really hurt?

Reuniting with a brother was a beautiful thing to see. Picking up where they left off. Not even sure what happened. But reunited before it was too late.

brandy said...

"Brothers don't shake hands. Brothers gotta HUG."

Sorry, I had to do it :)

Good post! When I look back on my relationship with my brother, it's amazing we still talk to each other, haha! But that's how it works. One day we fight, another day we're good.