How could I NOT be doing (relatively) well, when someone reaches out like that, and in the same day an old high school friend connects, randomly, just to see what’s new in the world, saying they can’t wait to read the latest chapter. But the words do ring true, in what she sent…..and I find the sentiment so kind, but it’s not wrong. The inside of this mind is, if not terrible, a chaotic place, and one that keeps me up into the late hours, with one-sided conversations, replays in my mind of times past and projections into a future that I cannot possibly predict with any accuracy. So I write.
At zero three hundred hours, I write. 3am is when there’s no other distractions, no one with whom to discuss every little thing, and then I get up and play the guitar when the words don’t come, until I’m exhausted, weary enough to find rest while the radio murmurs stories of the BBC on NPR, people thousands of miles away reporting on life a world away. As of late, a song by Tyler Childers has been on heavy enough rotation that I can play it with my eyes closed, warbling (badly) along with him as he belts out:
“Hold me close my dear
Sing your whispering song
Softly in my ear
And I will sing along” – Little Feathered Indians
And it strikes me, late late late into the night, that this simple love song is his musical testament to a 3am conversation. That late into the night the soft murmurs are what bring his soul the kind of peace we all seek, the one that eases your heart.
“Honey tell me how your love runs true
And how I can always count on you
To be there when the bullets fly
I’d run across the river just to hold you tonight” – Little Feathered Indians
We all long for someone to count on when the bullets fly, be they metaphorical or otherwise. To have that person you count on, with a consistency is, in the end, one of the things we all seek as part of our journey during our time here. Bullets fly when they do, and we cannot predict those moments. Mine happen to fly in the quiet of the dark, and rest is elusive at best. So, yeah, my friend was right, in a sense….my mind can be a terrible place, just as it can for every person who thinks beyond the black and the white. But it can also be a wonderful place, a well from which I can express things creatively, beyond a uniform or a relationship status. To see the beauty in that terrible place is what allows my eyes to shut, finally. That, or total sleep deprivation…..could go either way.
“I’d go runnin’ through the thicket
I’d go careless through the thorns
Just to hold her for a minute
Though it’d leave me wanting more” – Little Feathered Indians
And, therein lies the battle in my mind…..what makes sense, logically, has nothing to do with what the heart wants or that in which it can rest. I know I’d go running through endless thickets and thorns for those stolen moments, they are an addiction from which I cannot break, not right now. And that’s okay, because the results I recognize are these expressions pouring out at zero three hundred hours, whiteboards, and notepads and journals filled with musings and art and music and a strange gratitude for every little thing, even in what seems like pain. What a ride, a beautiful ride in the dark and quiet.
And how beautiful it could be to have more than a solitary expression, and instead a real conversation, a real connection and a whispering song, softly in the ear.
I can think of nothing more beautiful to the soul at 3am.
*Check out Tyler Childer’s “Little Feathered Indians” here*