Wednesday, March 13, 2013

almost being alive

I've always found music to be one of the best therapists that you could ever hope for. No matter what is going on, there is a song for that moment. And the very existence of that song means that someone, somewhere went through some of the same joy or pain as you. It's a beautiful, universally connective thing. There is nothing more unifying to me than going to a concert and standing in a sweaty cluster in the middle of a warehouse, singing my guts out with some complete strangers. For a few fleeting moments, there are no differences between any of you. There is no conflict. Just beautiful strains of poetry passing your lips as you reflect on the simple fact that you are alive. 

Often, there is no other way for me to express what I'm feeling than to put it into a song. Granted, most of these songs never make it past the walls of my room, but they serve their purpose.

A couple of years ago one of my good friends and I were in a little acoustic, indie-rock outfit. We just played a few small shows around our local community. One day, we were trying to write some new songs to play at an upcoming show. Morgan, my bandmate, asked me if there was anything I wanted to write about. It was silly, but I had been having these reoccurring dreams that I couldn't figure out. 

In the dream, I was walking down a quiet, dark road at night. I was carrying luggage and my guitar case in my hand. Lining the road were these nice, older houses that had all of their lights off, except for porch lights. I kept walking up the road, minding my own business, intently making my way towards an empty train stop platform. Every few minutes, I would check my watch and look over my back, as if I was anticipating no longer being the only person around anymore. I climbed the stairs of the train platform and set my stuff down, still looking around somewhat anxiously. Suddenly, I look up and see the train blowing into the stop. Despite it's loud approach, the entire place still felt empty and silent. I look around one more time, let out an exasperated sigh, grab my stuff and board the train headed out of this quiet hell. 

When I finished telling the story to Morgan, I remember her kindly smiling and saying "You're not alone. You've got us, silly." Her and her husband, Si, are two of the raddest, kindest people in existence. I'm beyond lucky to know them.

We sat and talked about the dream for a while. I like to akin the whole thing to the fact that, as long as I can remember, I have been searching for the right person to meet me at the train stop. But it also shows that I'm not afraid to get on that train alone. I suppose in life, we have no choice in the matter. My senior English teacher called me a 'hopeless romantic'. How poetic. If she only knew how right she was.

What I realized through this is we aren't meant to be alone in this life, but you have to be willing to go into the fray on your own. It's a mind over matter type of thing. Your heart is going to cry out for fear of loneliness, but your mind has to treat it as a wound that can be overcome. Some people are going to be blessed enough to walk to that train station hand-in-hand with the one they are meant to take the journey with, others won't. 

We titled the song, that came from that discussion, Carbonesque - meaning having the same characteristics of life. I like to think it is because the dream, that still comes around from time to time, is a personal challenge. If you had to go through this world alone, would you quit walking or would you gather your things, breathe, and step forward into the unknown?

Here is the song. I hope you enjoy it.

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