Inspiration and Solace
Where do you find inspiration and solace? We all need an outlet. Something to get lost in. Something to rejoice with. Something to ease the pain. Whether it’s writing, music, restoring cars or a sport that provides physical release, we all need to find our “thing”.
Writing and music are some of mine. At times I hear a certain song and it takes me back to very specific moments in my life. My Aunt Sarah always listened to music and through it, she gave me glimpses of her heart. I remember once in passing she said the song “In the Ghetto” by Elvis always made her cry because when I was born it reminded her of me. I was born on a cold winter day and my parents separated when I was six months old. I flash back to bits the lyrics –
“As the snow flies, on a cold and gray Chicago morning..
People, don’t you understand the child needs a helping hand?
Or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me, are we too blind to see?
Do we simply turn our heads and look the other way?”
She was my helping hand, and thankfully didn’t look away. Except for a period of teenage angst, she kept my anger at bay. The song “Sara Smile” was released the same year my grandmother died and it taunted her at the height of her depression. The last thing she wanted to do at that point was smile yet on some days, the irony of the songs timing did make her smile.
“Dream On” was also released that year and as I was going through my own period of grief, Steven Tyler’s words –
Sing with me, sing for the years.
Sing for the laughter, an’ sing for the tears.
Sing it with me, if it’s just for today.
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Gave me an odd sense of comfort. It made me happy for the times I had with my grandmother, allowed me to be sad for the loss, made me ok for the moment. It was the very first time I dealt with death and the far too intimate knowledge that just because someone was here, today, in front of you, tomorrow could take them away. That was a defining time in my life.
If you saw my ipod, you might wonder whether it was shared by many people or whether I had some sort of multiple personality disorder. It’s neither. Most days will find me listening to something I can dance to, or something to get me motivated. Some find my motivation strange, but coming not too far from where Eminem grew up, I love his music. So many people judge his lyrics simply because they see the explicit sticker slapped on his CD. My thought is – sometimes life is explicit and he knows that, and it’s what draws his audience.
Those of us who can relate to fighting against the odds, to wanting a better life, to taking what we have and trying to make it into something good, we get it. We get the F bombs, and boy do we get the lyrical genius. We feel his pain, his struggle, and how can you not love “Lose Yourself” ? The last line “You can do anything you set your mind to man.” The song “Beautiful”, Explicit lyrics that end with:
“And to the rest of the world
God gave you shoes to fit you
So put ’em on and wear ’em
Be yourself man, be proud of who you are
Even if it sounds corny
Don’t ever let anyone tell you you ain’t beautiful”
Like everything else in life, you can judge by the label that’s attached to something or you can take a moment to consider a different view. Are you seeing F bombs, or are you seeing hope, inspiration and triumph? Where do you find your inspiration and solace?by