“You should probably post that video as one of your music video sharing things” ~CP
Monthly Archives: September 2012
I remember the first time I heard this song it made me cry. Not because it is a particularly sad song, or that anything super monumental was happening at that time but, it was the truth of the words “Your history acts as your gravity” that moved me. It was one of those moments where I realized – no, accepted – something about myself that I hadn’t ever been willing to admit before or knew how to put into words. And it was pretty heavy.
According to the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, it is conservatively believed that in today’s society 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually molested before they are 18 years old.
Many people allow pieces of their history to be their gravity. It holds them down without release, sometimes consciously and sometimes entirely unnoticed. We are the sum of all of our experiences. It is what makes us unique from any other person. Some experiences carry more weight than others. It is how we overcome that weight that shows us who we really are, and allows us to be who we are meant to be. But it takes realizing that you are being held down by memories and experiences from so long ago that you’re not even 100% sure what you’re feeling or how it’s affecting you. When you finally do realize how those experiences, traumatic and painful, have lived on in every breadth of your life since you were a child, effected every relationship and defined your own self-worth… the gravity of it hits you like a tidal wave and can be all consuming.
It was for me… and it hit me the first time I heard this song twelve years ago.
Your history will never leave you. You own it. You live it every day. But, it doesn’t have to beat you. It doesn’t get to say who you will become and who you are today. It has only lead you here. What I hope others know, that it took me a long time to realize, is that you are not alone and you are not defined by the impositions of others. No one can tell you who you are but you. You are better than what happened to you. There is goodness in people all around you. Take strength in knowing what you have overcome. Your history does not have to be your gravity. Let the realization and acceptance of that be your wings. Set yourself free.
I saw Bon Iver for the first time in August 2011 at Mount Park in Holyoke, MA. It was the perfect night to listen to his music: dark, drizzling, woods all around and eerily mystical. It was one of the greatest live show experiences I’ve ever had… and I’ve had a lot. The music felt like it was being carried over the hillside, lifted by the gentle fog rising from the warm grass. I’m headed to my second Bon Iver show in two days at another great outdoor venue. I don’t expect it to be as inspiring as the first but I’m looking forward to remembering some of it’s greatness.
Here’s one of my favorite songs from that night… just Justin, alone on the stage with his voice and his guitar. So good.
(“The business of sadness” is a line from the song Brackett, WI btw. Another favorite.)