Inspired by my wonderful friend Dee, and her post about how she uses music to fall apart and rebuild.
I offer up to you all, The playlist of my bad days.
When I have a downturn, I withdraw from the people around me. I hide in a world of other peoples expressions of pain, love, hurt, devestation. They aren’t necessarily songs I would listen to in the average day to day, but I know every single note of these.
This one I learned to sing as a very small child, in the choir. I still harmonize when I sing it even in this slower, more painful version. It reminds me that I am not as alone as i feel in my dark space, that in any given moment everyone in the room may be flashing through that space of all the things we don’t acknowledge because if we did, we would never move again because it would all be too hard.
This one allows me my sad and my angry all tied up together, as they so very, very often are. It connects me to where I was before, to what set me to running into my hiding place. I don’t want to deal with how YOU feel right now, because how I feel is too much. The weight of your expectation becomes my rootless tree, demanding my attention, dragging me into the task of holding up that tree. It fills my eyes with tears and I just want to be let out…. There is a strange power in the words fuck you.
This beautiful work of art makes no sense…. and neither do my feelings when I am in this space. I am overwhelmed by what appears to be unconnected events that keep smacking me in the face with similarity. Everything feels cosmically connected by some kind of weird silvery spiderweb, even though I don’t believe in anything that would make that make sense on any level. I am the girl in the theater knowing what she is seeing because she has seen it before…. but still fascinated by the insane images before me.
This luscious lady has a few songs that I go to in my dark times, but this one seems often to reflect whatever relationship is on my mind in that moment. For me, it isn’t so much a love song….It is about communication, about perceptions, about two people trying to describe the colour blue to a blind man. It’s about how you can be feeling completely alone and isolated in a room full of people who think you are fine. It is about promises to make it through and what we need to make those promises come true. It is about trying
This one is so pretty. It is full of imagery that for me is all about having to find a pathway alone. About how I am hoping to just find a freaking way out of these feeling and a person with a magic wand to fix it all for me. Not found one yet. to a sense of angry
Which often leads me to a space of super angry hopeless frustration illustrated beautifully by this piece of freaking genius. “Time to bring it down again. dont just call me pessimist. Try and read between the lines”.
This again takes me back to that, how are so many of us alone together? The dreams in which I am dying are the best I’ve ever had…. My brain is not my friend and the world around me tears at it, making me feel both terrifyingly alone and completely overwhelmed by the stimulation of the world rushing past me…. I find it kind of funny, and I fnd it kinda sad…… I do find it hard to tell you….. It is a mad world.
When my daughters were very small, I taught them this song. I wanted them to always have a way to express when they felt alone and scared in any way. We used to sing it together, but only the nice parts. But when I am in this space, I tend to listen to the whole of it… the other side of the childish daydream, the painful reality of what will happen if you try to pretend that what you want is what you have.
I don’t think I need to offer any explanation for why I would listen to this song. Johnny Cash. Nine inch nails. Pain. But, seriously, if Johnny Cash could keep going….. Then I guess I can too.