New Song: Be Here

Hey folks! You may not know this, but I don’t just write about my feelings and fears on COVID-19… I SING ABOUT THEM!

But… if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you were probably expecting this.

I got up this morning fresh with fear and panic. So I decided to stop looking at COVID-19 updates for a while. I set an alarm and I’m not allowed to look at any updates until then. But I still couldn’t get my mind off of it, so I sat down at the piano and tried to sing all my feelings out.

Here’s what came out. I called it Be Here. The piano is a little loud on the recording but that’s ok. It drowns out my vocal mistakes. Love you all. Hope you like it.

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 9.10.01 AM

My Plans For The End

I keep making plans for when this will all be over. But then I remember I don’t know when that is. And what if it’s never over? And what if I have to bury someone I love? Or they have to bury me?

Then Nick will say, “You have to remember, this was always going to happen and it’s going to be ok.”

And for a moment, I feel ok.

Like many people out there, I’m a sucker for a good apocalypse movie. I feel ok and suddenly every scenario from every apocalypse movie starts replaying in my mind and I wonder if this is just the beginning of the end.

But then I think about the Spanish Flu. It lasted 2 years and infected about a quarter of the Earth’s population. Something like 50 million people died. And the world didn’t end. We made it through two World Wars and countless other catastrophes and disasters and we’re all still here.

The human species should have been killed off by now. Somehow, we keep on.

Here is a song I wrote in 2017. It’s not the greatest recording but go take a listen and read the lyrics. I’m Still Here

It’s about surviving all the things life throws at you. After my mom died of cancer in 2016, I became slightly obsessed with Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild and the movie based on it. There’s a point in the movie when Reese Witherspoon, who is playing Cheryl, realizes that she’s stayed on this difficult trek she is on longer than a more experienced backpacker who has left the trail. She says, “I’m still here.” And that line hit me like a fucking ton of bricks. It stayed with me. I watched the scene over and over. And I even wrote a song with that line.

I’m still here. We’re still here. The human race has survived the hurricane of time. Somehow. It gives me hope. I don’t know when this will end. I don’t know if I’ll have to bury a loved one. Or if I’ll be the one laid in the ground. But I do know IT WILL END.

It will end and life will continue. And humanity will survive. We’re still here. We’re still breathing. The sea came, as if to kill us but we WILL survive.

That is my hope and peace right now. We’ve been here before. We made it before. We’ll do it again. Will I still be scared? You better believe it. Will I keep ugly crying daily? I can’t imagine stopping now.

But I have a smithereen of hope. I have a capful of peace. I know we will survive. I dare not make plans for the future only because I want to keep my mind on this bit of hope and peace I’ve found. And I won’t make plans for the end because I know it isn’t coming.

Be.

I’m scared. The whole world is scared. I think I ugly cry at least once a day. I check the stats on COVID-19 before I go to sleep. And then again as soon as I wake.

My oldest child has Type 1 Diabetes which is an autoimmune disease. At her last doctor’s appointment at the beginning of March, we were told her A1C was better. It’s still much higher than the average person’s but it’s good for a teenager with T1D.

My husband works with the public every day. He owns a business fixing food service equipment. So he and all his employees spend their days in restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations, fixing the equipment the public touches minute by minute. And even though he’s wearing gloves and showering when he comes home and we have hand sanitizer right by the front door, I’m scared.

But I know I’m not alone in my fear. I know others in much more dire circumstances are just as afraid and have fewer resources.

So I took my panicky heart this morning and wrote a poem that is just as much prayer as it is poem. It’s called “Be.” And expresses what I think God is saying back to me. Maybe it’ll say something to you too.

Be.

You see me
All of my pain and fear
And though I hold it up against the world
You don’t

I don’t know how
How you take me this way
Hold me like marzipan
In your warm, wizened hands
Tell me it’s ok
To feel
All the things

Why don’t you say
Look
Be
Do

Why don’t you say
Oof
Ugh
Mmm

Why do you allow me to be this way
Why don’t you stop me
Correct me
Compare me
Reject me
Contrast me
Grade me
Score me
Rate me
Berate
Coerce
Connive
Control

WHY DON’T YOU CHANGE ME

I see all the ways I could be
Better
I see all the ways I couldn’t
Measure up

I pray like I’m in Hell
Rescue me
Save me
I’m in danger
Protect me

As I wrap myself in all the comfortable things I own
That I bought

I am not more deserving of your
Grace
And mercy
I am not your favorite
I don’t stand alone

But still I feel your
Tenderness
Your loving gaze
Your calming breath

Breathe in
Whooo
Breathe out
Whooo

What must I do?!
I cry out
To earn this gift!
I have to know

I strain my ear to listen
Quiet everything to hear

But what I hear is…

Be.
It is enough
Just to be

I knew what I was doing when I made you
I’ve always known who you are
And meant to be

You covered yourself
In the fig leaves the others were using
Plastered with clay
Thick and wet
And hidden

Now it’s all washed away
You are naked
Don’t be ashamed

You cursed the water
That left you exposed
That shifted the sand
That destroyed what you thought was your home

Don’t curse it, my love
This was not for your harm
I am the rain, Love
I am the storm

The fig leaves are gone
You’re free of the clay

Just be, my sweet love
Be.

It is enough for me.