I revisited some songs I had forgotten this week—most notably, music by folk/country singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter. In 1994, a dear friend introduced me to Mary’s music. I was hooked from the start. The songs “This Shirt” and “I am a Town” told stories with expressive words and minute details that painted vibrant, mental images. Many of these details recalled memories of the time I spent as a kid visiting family in Magnolia, Arkansas, or driving through small towns between Houston and Lubbock on my way back and forth to Texas Tech. Mary wrote moments whose details made stories come alive—like good poetry.
While I dearly love Mary Chapin Carpenter’s reflective, thoughtful, and intimate songs, I am here to reflect on one that is particularly dear to my heart:
“Passionate Kisses” (listen on YouTube if it’s not ringing in your ears right now).
On the surface, it’s not a deep song, but the music goes down smoothly, and the sentences are honest and universal. The song asks repeatedly… shouldn’t I (we) have (something essential to our existence)?
So here I am reflecting on “Passionate Kisses” as an explanation of existence and essential human needs. Here’s what I’m thinking.
We all need (passionate kisses), or whatever emotional connection we desire that takes us out of our “check the boxes and complete the tasks” daily existence. A passionate kiss is a deep connection between two people—one where you lose yourself in the moment. Yeah, we need “warm clothes and all that stuff,” but we need (and deserve) passionate kisses (or insert whatever “lose yourself in the moment” connection experience you prefer). We all need to lose ourselves in a blissful experience.
I go too fast, neglect passionate kisses, and my mind and soul suffer for it. This week, Mary Chapin Carpenter reminded me of this. What’s living without passionate kisses? Well, I think it’s not living at all.