Rolling Stones

Music, My Muse

Ever since I started writing this blog, my senses have awakened. I see things more clearly. I listen more. I watch. I wait. One area that has always been a touchstone for me is music. I have always loved songs–and lyrics have a way of transporting me or grounding me–whatever I need at that moment. Now, it seems that every song I love has a hidden meaning of validation for my writing process. When I listen to my I-pod or the radio in the car, I find myself nodding in agreement at the words from songs and artists I have listened to countless times. In the next few posts, I would like to share some of the more profound lyrics that have guided me to continue writing.

Roll Away Your Stone” by: Mumford and Sons

Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine

Together we can see what we will find

Don’t leave me alone at this time,

For I’m afraid of what I will discover inside

From the moment I began to type the first words of Dadicus Grinch, I felt like I was finally moving away the stone that had been blocking my cave, so to speak. Writing has allowed the light to get in, and now I see it illuminating everywhere. That which was once scary and dark, now holds less power over me. And I wasn’t so much “afraid of what I will discover inside”. I knew, I’ve always known, but I was afraid of what would happen if others knew. Guess what, putting things out there has made the weight lighter, and so many of the responses and reactions I have gotten have been, essentially, “Everyone has their stuff. Everyone!” Moreover, if we see that we are not alone in our thoughts and fears, it helps others find the courage to begin to roll their own stones away. Imagine if we all did that, instead of operating under fear, doubt, and insecurity?

Cause you told me that I would find a hole,

Within the fragile substance of my soul

And I have filled this void with things unreal,

And all the while my character it steals

For me, the “you” in this stanza is that little voice that constantly tries to creep in to my mind to negate all that I know to be good and true. The soul IS such a fragile part of who we are, and rather then tend to it carefully, we abuse it by ignoring it. We’re too busy to think about such stuff–My soul ain’t gonna pay the mortgage, right? But I would hazard a guess that your soul IS the voice that will comfort you on your deathbed someday. The more you take care of it (him or her sounds nicer, doesn’t it?) the more comfort you can find throughout your existence. “And I have filled the void with things unreal, and all the while my character it steals.” These words are haunting. We spend so much of our time and energy chasing away our demons, letting them have all the power and control. And in our failed attempts to keep the monsters at bay, we neglect the people we truly are and could be–the character of our true selves. Break the pattern. Like a misbehaving toddler, the best way to deal with these aspects of our nature is to ignore them–the less power you give them, the less power they have.

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?

And yet it dominates the things I see

Darkness is, indeed, a harsh term. But we all have darkness AND light. When we don’t address the darkness in ourselves, in our past, it will dominate all things in our lives. The minute you start to shed light on whatever it is that is consuming you, the darkness can no longer dominate.

 It seems that all my bridges have been burned,

But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works

It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,

But the welcome I receive with the restart

Before I heard this song, I never really understood what “grace” meant–or what i think it means. It’s a word I heard often growing up in a Catholic home, but it’s meaning always eluded me.  In this song, the word finally clicked with me. Grace is a state of being where one completely changes places and perspectives. It is through that change, which is often painful, that one learns to empathize. In order to find grace, we may need to begin anew. Funny, burning bridges always seemed like a bad thing, but what if we burn the bridges to places that always hurt us? What is we burn that bridge to self-doubt, or booze, or bad lovers? What if we refused to keep crossing the bridges that lead us to failure and pain? The last two lines of this resonate, because I feel like I am returning home. It’s just a much different walk this time in how I chose to see the past. The amazing thing about writing is that it allows us to see things more clearly. The most welcome I have felt is from myself–free to give voice to my thoughts and memory.

Stars hide your fires,

These here are my desires

And I will give them up to you this time around

And so, I’ll be found with my stake stuck in this ground

Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

There is such a desire in me to continue on this journey. I feel that there is a fire that burns in each one of us, yet society tends to dampen this desire. It is up to us to stoke the flames. Writing has allowed me to discover “this newly impassioned soul”.

But you, you’ve gone too far this time

You have neither reason nor rhyme

With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine

And so I will continue to find my soul in the words that I write on the page (screen). I will turn off the voices that have tried to make me feel foolish or afraid. At this point, they are powerless–they have neither reason nor rhyme. For this new soul IS rightfully mine.