Light Rising, story behind the song
Some songs require a lot of deliberation, drafting, contemplation, stops and starts. This song came in a woosh so fast it was thrilling.
I came home from dropping the kids off at school to my husband, Timothy playing piano in our living room. “You look sad, you OK?” he asked.
I was embarrassed to admit I was sad. I had just found out I hadn’t been selected as a finalist in the ISC, an international songwriting contest I had entered. My inner critic was shooting me down from both sides, saying I shouldn’t be sad about such a superficial thing, while also saying my song wasn’t good enough and I was doomed to failure.
But looking into Timothy’s cinnamon eyes, I felt the space open to just let myself feel all of it without interfering. I was sad, and disappointed. It’s disappointing not to win, a simple fact I will re-affirm for my children each time they don’t make the call-back list or get asked out by the cute boy or they lose something precious. It’s so human and natural to feel disappointed.
So I told him why I was disappointed. And it wasn’t just about the contest, it was about my sense of purpose in life, and true belonging. And a layer of grief over having given over ten years of my life and budding music career to a cult with a narcissistic leader who “guided” me to focus only on God, as if God is separate from music and creativity.
Timothy didn’t stop playing piano as I spoke, but his chords changed and slowed down and there was a delicious space between each chord that was like an invitation towards deeper compassion. I asked him what he was working on. He said he wasn’t paying attention at all; he didn’t even realize he was still playing. I had to show him with my piano illiterate gestures what he had just played. He played the chords again. Goosebumps.
I recorded him playing it, then he had to go to a meeting so I sat with these beautiful chords of compassion for an hour or so as the vocal melody swooped in and then all the words came in a thrilling woosh.
When we came back together after his meeting the song was pretty much complete. It felt like a download from the loving presence we hope is holding it all. A comfort to the weary and broken hearted. An affirmation of the power of simply being with all the experiences we have in each day and letting ourselves be loved in each one.