life out of context

“and your heart gets bored with your mind
and it changes you”
– John Prine

Context is a fascinating thing. I first heard someone quote just the 2 lines of these lyrics. On their own, they resonated with me about the journey I’m on in my life. With my heart feeling drawn down one path and taking the lead over what my mind had already decided. Heart leading change in terms of life purpose.

After I looked up the entire song (“All the Best”), I saw that the story is one of a failed relationship and a man sending good wishes to the person who’s broken his heart. Come to think of it — those lines still bring about the heart leading change for the singer. Just on different terms (his feelings about the breakup as opposed to my feelings about life purpose).

So the surrounding original story is different. And I take those 2 lines out of the song, and they mean something slightly different to me than they do within the song. Which is kinda cool.

There are ways to take things out of context and make them false. We all see this so much in terms of people being quoted (misquoted or quoted out of context). But there are also times when taking things out of context might provide a different perspective or jog a new thought.

Have you ever found meaning in something out of context?

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