Some of my favorite artists are the Cranberries, Ingrid Michaelson, and Company of Thieves. I grew up to the tunes of Enya, Jewel, and Lisa Loeb. The edgiest thing I listened to for a long time was Alanis Morissette. It’s not much a surprise really: I’m generally a gentle guy, calm and peaceful, quiet and contemplative.
But I’m also a Gemini.
The irony is that my first love of song that breached this facade itself means to fade away–and yet they have remained a staple of my soundtrack ever since.
I fell in love with Evanescence with their single “Bring Me to Life.” By the time “Going Under” and especially “My Immortal” came out, I was entrenched in their melancholic beauty. I remember memorizing the words to their entire album and spending ours singing it to myself outside. I still imagine fields of paper flowers and candy lullabies. In fact, the imagery of their songs often crops up in my stories: white forests, hiding in trees, last breaths, paradoxes of the soul and the beauty of blood, my tourniquet. When my best friend and I went through a rough time, “My Immortal” became her theme song and mine. I define my most meaningful relationships by the songs they bring to mind. That was hers.
When their second album came out, I got the music from my sister. I loved “Lithium” and “Lacrymosa.” At the time I was the chronologist of a forum-wide roleplay called the Guild Wars II. It was to their music and Nightwish’s that the summary of this massive, hundreds-of-pages-long roleplay was cataloged and color-coded and quantified with carefully composed witticisms and puns. Ah, what fun that was!
Evanescence has been a key artist in two of my six years writing with NaNoWriMo. In my third year and my sixth, ironic as that may be. Their songs helped inspire my words and keep me motivated all the way through, even when I felt my story was worthy of an early rejection called the recycle bin. But with them, I stuck it out.
I came upon their self-titled album by accident. Under the belief they had broken up and not knowing they had come back together, I wasn’t necessarily keeping tabs on their activity anymore. I was on Amazon one day and saw their music was recommended. I ordered it almost instantly and waited in anticipation until the package arrived.
I loved their new sound, more rock and less melodrama, though thoroughly classic Evanescence all the way through. At once I gravitated to their song “Sick,” which is the song I’d like to showcase today. The first time I listened to it I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics and assumed it was all about illness. Now I’ve heard it more than a dozen times, I know that’s not the case.
Embrace the silence
cause there’s nothing that can change the way I feel
Taken all that you wanted
now there’s nothing left that can change the way I feel
If you’re a longtime reader of my blog, you probably know my feelings on silence: I despise it. I think it cripples and kills. But here Amy’s singing to embrace it–and I love that. Tempered by context, she’s saying I have said my piece, take it or leave it, but you can’t rule me, you can’t make me any different. And that’s what I do–or want to do–all the time. I want to put my foot down and give my point and be done. But I’m kinder than that. I’ll listen. I’ll consider your point. I’ll change my views if sufficient evidence is granted.
But sometimes, with conviction, I’ll stand outspoken. And then, then you must embrace that silence–because all your words are unheard, because all your words have already been given.
The argument is gone.
Someday you’ll know the pain
Someday the light will break through
And nothing you tell yourself will save us from the truth
Honesty. It matters. And when you twist your reality to reflect your own skewed thoughts, there’s nothing I can do to help you. You’ve crossed the line. You’ve deluded yourself–a path I will not follow. You don’t understand me, you never will, and what can I say that will change the way you see the world?
There is nothing to be said.
I have a problem tempering my thoughts before I speak them. I end up coming off harsher and more negative than I intend to–and by the time I realize how the words sound spoken, it’s too late to change them. But what bothers me most, and this is when I let my impulses get the best of me, is when people judge me as they see me, forsaking all the facets they cannot and will never see. I fear I’ll break someday. I fear saying this is prophesying my own downfall. But someday I know there’ll come a time when I cannot contain my distaste, my rampant opposition, to any given statement and I will bare my teeth and raise my claws and call forth all those reasons that make me in my entirety that no one sees. My past. My home life. My intents and motives. My trials, tribulations. My secrets.
It shall be my downfall. My tragic flaw.
Sick of it all, sick of it all
We will not follow
Sick of it all, sick of it all
They don’t understand how
Sick we are, sick we are
of this bottomless pit of lies
behind closed eyes
We all do this. We all create our own world in our own eyes. Existence is relative. Experience is subjective. And when we believe a lie, we are the knife of our own betrayal. When that window we look through is finally shattered and we see what’s all before us, how will we survive?
We don’t understand how sick we are. How we are plagued by these forces occurring naturally inside all of us at every moment. My literature teacher likes to call it baggage, these things we bring to the stories we read. It’s the lens we see things through. But sometimes I just want the truth.
I’m sick of it, sick of it all.
Hold on, little girl
The end is soon to come
It took half the times I heard this before I stopped thinking the line spoke to a bed-bound lass about to die, suffering and pained. Now I see it as something hopeful, encouraging. Today we struggle against our own false perceptions and those of who stand without understanding before us, but the truth will gush forth from our lungs and spread like a flood through this bottomless pit until it’s fulled to the brim. Today we suffer, but tomorrow we survive. Truth will rise to the surface and we will be freed from the tyranny of our own basest humanity.
Salvation will come. Till then we hold on.