Since this is my game and my rules, today’s quotes are from a song. Well, two, actually. If you know anything about me, you probably know I’m a pretty big Switchfoot fan. I respect those in the band as musicians, faith-followers, and human beings. Anyway, they released an album last fall titled Hello Hurricane. It’s a beautiful musical journey that ends with my two favorite songs, perhaps ever, back to back.
The second to last song of the album is titled “Sing It Out.” It starts out quiet, a man’s voice against the void. “I’m on the run/ I’m on the ropes this time/ Where is my song?/ I’ve lost the song of my soul tonight.” It’s an individual defeated, a man who has lost his passion, his purpose, the very beat of his heart. In desperation and need, he cries, “Sing it out/ Sing it out/ Take what is left of me/ Make it a melody/ Sing it out/ Sing out loud/ I can’t find the words to sing/ Come be my remedy.” Today, I finally fully understood this chorus. The man is asking God, or the Muse, or the Universe, to sing him his song, the song that has been lost and forgotten. The song of his gifts, his genius, his purpose. He’s asking to hear it, because he has no music in his ears or his heart. If he hears it, then he will remember and perhaps be able to sing along.
After that passionate plea to hear one’s song comes the final song of the album, “Red Eyes.” The first few lines are exactly where I continue to find myself.
“‘What are you waiting for?/ The day is gone.’/ I said I’m waiting for dawn./ ‘What are you aiming for/ out here alone?/ I said I’m aiming for home./ Holding on, holding on…”
This dialogue is what I feel internally every day when I choose between hope and despair. My pessimistic nature tells me that the day is gone. The light is now dark. There is nothing to see here. But my artist’s nature, the nature in touch with the Divine, answers that I am just waiting for the dawn, the light that continues to return after the darkness. Because it’ll come back. And though the darkness in me tells me that I am alone, I know that I am headed for the place where I belong: home. The title of this song could be interpreted in a multitude of ways. One’s eyes are red after sobs, the despair that creeps in and takes hold. But red eyes can also come with intense searching. Looking for a way, a path, a light, a hope. Red eyes.
So not exactly the quotes on writing that I’ve been sharing over the last week or so. But music speaks to me on a deep level, the art of someone else’s soul speaking to the art in mine. What I need to do is hold on, to continue forward, to do my work and encourage others in theirs. Because in doing so, we make this world livable. Hopeful.
Currently, I’m grouchy. Resistance is strong today. But I’m showing up to do my work anyway. I tend to get in funks for no reason (strike that; there’s always a reason, but mostly it’s a dumb one), but I’ll fight it off, somehow. Showing up to work is the first step. Actually working and creating is the next. And the third? Well, I’ll just find out when I get there.