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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Closer to Fine: An epiphany courtesy of the Indigo Girls.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
- Victor Hugo, Hugo's Works: William Shakespeare

I used to think discussing the importance of music and song lyrics was as interesting as discussing the importance of someone else's dream. It's really only fascinating to the person who had the dream.

I also used to think those who professed such love and devotion to music and the part it plays in one's life were bordering on hippie. Artsy, maybe. To which I inwardly replied - Cool story, Bro.

Then the other shoe dropped in my own life, the earth shook under my feet, my life would never be the same. I clung to song lyrics as if it was advice from a paid professional. And one day I looked down and realized two of the tattoos on my body were inspired

I was one of those people. I am one of those people.

So it was to my surprise that I found myself in tears from an epiphany after listening to a song by the Indigo Girls. Indigo Girls from like the 90's? Yup. Those Indigo Girls.

Strange as it may seem, eleven years ago in college I took a class in philosophy of western religions. There was an eager overachiever giving a presentation analyzing a song by the Indigo Girls. The song was Closer To Fine. Now, I admit, I was only half paying attention. But he lectured and analyzed the song, lyric by lyric.

Fast forward eleven years. A few months ago I had just come home from the Near Drown Tribe Retreat in Seattle. I was feeling pretty high on life, elated, joyous, walking on air, you get the picture. One of the women at the retreat created a CD of songs for all of us. They were great songs, too. Four songs in, I hear the Indigo Girls. A song from eleven years ago in that one college course where I was only half listening. So I decided to listen.

Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety til I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore.

Whoa. I was listening. I was paying attention. The first thought I could muster was my struggle with God and the why's and how's. The words reminded me how easy it was to fall into this dark pit and how I knew people who frequently visited that dark pit, some even lived there.

I felt safe in my anger toward God, and then I sank that ship with all my fury. And there I was. Crawling and begging for answers and with none in sight.

Yes, I'm analyzing. Remember? I'm one of those people.

But then the bubble burst, the flood gates opened, the enlightenment commenced. In a good way.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

[Bubble Burst]

We go to the Bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

I literally went from pure elation to tears. Like ugly cry tears. Not sad tears. But a moment of clarity. I had been wondering why I felt so happy and even feeling a tad guilty for it. Now, you all might be thinking that perhaps the way I related to the song was by moving away from God. Seeking Him less.


That's not how I see it at all.

The moment I stopped hounding God and Jesus and the Bible and religion for answers is the moment I was set free. Of course, I seek God in all that I do. I find comfort in prayer. My epiphany wasn't about leaving God or not trusting. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

It was about accepting that maybe I would never get answers and being okay with that. I had been figuratively clinging to God, shaking Him by the shirt and demanding WHY?!?!?!

And then I let go. Because there might be more than one answer to these questions. There might be more reasons than I will ever understand. And the moment I started to accept this, the closer I was to fine.

It was all wrapped up in a tidy little package. A lesson in finding happiness and allowing myself to Let it be - also a song reference, tattooed on my right foot.

There you have it. I am a student of the Indigo Girls eleven years later. I'm one of those people who talks about life through song lyrics. And I'm getting closer to fine.

And thank you for the ridiculously amazing CD, Amy!

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hee!! How funny...I live for lyrics,

You might now like one of my pins, I swear it's true...

Full circle moments are so weird, they are like a conk on the head. Whoa!! Indigo!! : )

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