Black Swan: BTS performing a CPR on our almost deaths
These are my thoughts as an ARMY and as a person. But at the end of this, I am hoping that you, the who reads it, find comfort and strength in life.
Black Swan has many deep meanings, one is it’s a graceful reminder to move from any position where you feel powerless and at the mercy of external forces; it is time to reclaim your personal power. In aboriginal folklore, a black swan symbolizes the path to enlightenment is not paved with gold, but often suffering instead.
Since this comeback season have started and BTS have been releasing music one by one, from Suga’s Interlude to Shadow, it is depicted that they are discussing their inner fears and inner “dark self”. These topics are mostly hard to discuss since most of us are repressing the thoughts of our fears and our dark selves in the inner most corner of our minds. However, as the music of BTS evolves into art, they go in depth with human agony and sufferings in which people doesn’t talk much about, but people succumbed into. Their music transcends through sounds that reaches the level of human experience, whether be it good or bad. These seven young lads got the courage to go deeper to discuss thoughts that people would relate to and they have a cultured fan base that is more than willing to engage into conversations beyond music which is human experience.
Suga’s Interlude discusses how one struggles into separating time and how one is stuck in between his lost thoughts. It gives you comfort and re-assurance. It’s reassuring that even if things doesn’t go the way you planned it and this isn’t the future you had hoped for, life must go on. Especially when those words come from the mouth of someone you look up to and someone that inspires you.
“It may be different to what you were hoping for
How you live on and how you love might change”
- Suga's Interlude
While in Shadow, it talks about the dark side of success. Nobody knows what one has to sacrifice to have it, and devastatingly, sometimes one has no choice but to sacrifice something he has because the situation entails so. The circumstances offered to us are different, thus our way of coping might differ but one thing is for sure, music transcends to these differences and makes us feel that somehow, someone out there was there for you. Hearing the song makes me think, “why can’t nice people have it all?” Your dreams, your self and everything you love. But I guess that’s part of it, like how your shadow is a part you. In between where you are now and where you wanted to be, there is your shadow. Tho our shadows are frightening, it is still us and funny at times, we’ll come to a point where we realize, we don’t have to fight our shadows, we have to learn how to tame them. It’s our demons that need fighting. At the end of the day, your shadow is all you’ve got. Yoongi, validates your fear on this. It’s terrifying and it can swallow you right up, but acknowledging your shadow might be the way to overcome these.
“Yeah you'll be at ease if you admit it too
Yeah succeed or fail, whichever way you flow
Yeah you can't escape, wherever you go
I am you, you are me, now you do know
You are me, I am you, now do you know”
Why did I inserted Suga’s Interlude and Shadow before going to Black Swan? Black Swan might not be a culmination of it all but it tells you that if in the middle of your lost thoughts (Suga’s Interlude) and you allow your self to be swallowed up by your shadow, you’re on your first death. Like what BTS have quoted from Martha Graham “a dancer dies twice – once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful”
[Reference to Black Swan] The assimilation of two elements: darkness and light is impossible, according to Aronofsky who immerses us into this thriller of a ballet dancer forced to insanity by seeking perfection. Nina was corrupt rather than consummated as an artist by delving into a dark role, the wicked Black Swan in which she suffered from this dark transformation.
They are on their lost thoughts that what if music doesn’t excite them and it doesn’t touch other people anymore. And they might be in the shadow of success which is exhausting and blinding at the same time, where one can be lost in translation. It’s not just about controlling these factors, but it’s also about letting it go and that is where you will find yourself again figuring out why you started, music. The more you try to control these emotions, the more it will cut through you. And this is how I see BTS' music, them discussing it boldly is a message that you have to acknowledge these parts of yourself, no matter how unwelcoming they may seem. In this world where we struggle to find our purpose and the fear of uncertainty is giving us anxiety. Remember to step back a little and breathe, take your time to rest from the exhaustion. Because even pursuing your passion is not a path of gold. Don’t let it die within you, let it grow inside. Even flowers needed both rain and sunshine to bloom. Your strength can also be your weakness and your weakness can be your greatest strength. And maybe if we learn how to tame our shadows and egos, we'll figure out that the darkness we perceive can co-exist with who we are. They performed a CPR to our almost deaths reassuring us that we are not alone, and maybe reminding us it's not yet too late to resurrect your almost dying passion and self. As for BTS, its their music and the seven of them as brothers sharing it, from their humble beginning to the peak of the heights. I guess I figured why it is "7", maybe because they were each other's strength. "Do your thang with me now.. what's my thang tell me now" is maybe how they helped each other rekindle the love they once have for music. Because its them seven behind those cameras struggling together, its them seven too sharing the beauty and the pain of success. And it's them seven who can see the fear and shadows of each other away from the limelight they are in. It's them and us that they've got.
For you, maybe it's what you love and the people you do it for or for yourself. I beg to disagree that you stopped dancing, singing, writing or pursuing your dreams because life doesn't allow you. If not now, maybe time will come for you to wake up from your deep long sleep and pursue them again. Or maybe, just maybe a change of heart will happen and what you thought you wanted in the beginning wasn't meant to be yours, but who you are today is your purpose. It’s all part of the process, it may confuse in the middle and you might struggle to find the answer but as what they always say, even Bang Si-Hyuk advised, “remember why you started” because the self that you have while you’ve decided to pursue them will always stay in the deep corner of your heart. You will always go back to that self, you would always go back to the beginning. Come prima, just like before. Life is an endless cycle of love, of one's self and all the other things. And like how a pupae transforms in to a butterfly and once again completing its metamorphosis, we are once again re-birthed. And a new version of ourselves is resurrected. It will always go back to the beginning, but the more you go back, you will always come out stronger.
BTS worked with different artists this comeback, and their perception of art is so diverse and broad, which is refreshing because it isn’t restrictive. It isn’t even music anymore, its ART. And let me borrow the words of Namjoon and reword it “I wish there is a better word than ART” because that would be it.
They are using their influence not just to deliver powerful messages but to give way to other forms of art, giving a platform for talented artists and letting the world see beautiful masterpieces. They are furthering their legacy while trying to make a positive change and impact into this world. There is no competition with BTS, they are here to make music and to inspire people. Our competition is this unjust society and ourselves than in turn BTS have shred a light into.
Soon enough, maybe a hundred years later, BTS wouldn’t be visible in this universe, but like how I perceive art, they have already left a mark in this world, a piece of themselves, in which even a thousand more years, people will still talk about. BTS did not just exist, they lived.
And I am so much honored to be their fan and to be a part of this family.