"Life Is Better with You"

When I got my second tattoo, a thistle with a bee hovering hear it, I gave explicit instructions to the artist that the bee could not be touching the thistle. "They are two unique creatures," I explained, "with a complementary relationship but individual lives." The thistle, you see, is the flower of Scotland, which is Iain's home country, and "Melissa" is Greek for honey bee. It is about us, and I wanted it to represent what our relationship is. We complement each other; we don't complete each other.

It is hard to find odes to romantic love that feel like they reflect how I view our partnership, our entwined lives. Lyrical verses that speak of being "one," that talk about destiny and eternity with the certitude of permanence, that imagine love to be about deliverance or imagine there to be a love that is perfect, don't resonate with me. I long for love songs that feel like love feels to me.

So, it was with abundant joy I listened to a song on the radio, played on a local college station, during my drive to Detroit for the Forging Justice conference—a song that seemed to perfectly capture what I feel about Iain. By the time I'd reached my destination, all but one line of the chorus had fallen out of my head: These days, life is better with you.

When I got home, I searched high and low for it online, but I couldn't find it. I asked friends who have strong Google skillz, and friends who are reliably informed about new music, if they could help me find the song. They looked, and came up empty.

Last night, I was responding to email, with the TV on in the background, when I heard the song again—this time in a commercial, for what I don't even remember. I excitedly held up my phone to identify the track. Michael Franti & Spearhead. "Life is Better with You." I found it on YouTube, and discovered that the video had not been posted until three months after the conference. I had looked too soon.

The video is as lovely as the song, featuring a variety of people of different races, genders, sexualities, ages, and sizes; people who parent and don't; people are married and aren't; individuals, couples, and threesomes; living life, dancing, hugging, kissing. All against the backdrop of the beautiful words set to an upbeat tempo: I'm not afraid to be alone / But being alone is better with you / Life is better with you / Some days are better than other days / But these days, life is better with you.

Anyway. I thought some of you might enjoy it, too. So here it is.

[Complete lyrics here.]

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