Friday, August 15, 2008

The Wrecking Ball

Music has been a saving grace for me in the last 4 weeks, and I find myself listening to those deep melodic haunting tunes that sometimes lift you up and bring you down simultaneously. I had to laugh at myself though when I first started to write this post. You know you've lost your marbles when you start to write a blog post that you have already written....almost the exact same post written in March....The Secret Garden but what is even more startling to me is the symptoms I was showing of bipolar disorder even then. I describe the racing thoughts......hmmm....that was a bit heartbreaking to me. I came up with an equally beautiful song that I have been listening to a lot and rewrote a new blog post!

Gillian Welch has a beautiful song she recorded with Old Crow Medicine Show that affects me deeply lately. Do you ever feel, when you hear a certain song, that somehow your soul is connected to another simply through the sheer coincidence of circumstance? And when the words flow out of them they feel as if they could have just as easily fallen from your own heart? She has as song called Wrecking Ball that I have fallen deeply in love with. These are her words, which feel like a word for word description of my young adulthood, minus a few minor details:

Look out boys, cause I’m a rolling stone,
Least that’s what I was when I first left home.
I took every secret that I’d every known,
and headed for the wall
Like a wrecking ball.

I started down on that road of sin,
Playin’ bass under a pseudonym
And the days are rough and it’s all quite dim
But my mind cuts through it all
Like a wrecking ball

Oh…I’s just a little Dead Head
Who is watching?
Who is watching?
I’s just a little Dead Head

A fallen daughter, on a scholarship.
I got tired and let my average slip
Then I’s a farmer in the poke and lip
Where the wee that I recall….
Was like a wrecking ball.

I met a love sick daughter
Out of San Joaquin
She showed me colors, I’d never seen
Then drank the bottom out of my canteen
And left me in the fall….

Like a wrecking ball.

Hey boys!
I’s a little Dead Head
Who is watching?
Who is watching?
I was just a little Dead Head
With too much trouble for me to shake
Whoa and the weather and the blinding ache

We were riding high until the 89 quake
Hit the Santa Cruz Garden Mall
Like a wrecking ball…

Well the 89 California quake did not affect me, but events that occurred in 1989 changed my life forever. My life would never be the same. And while I never played a guitar under a pseudonym, I certainly spent many years trying to hide myself, trying to be someone else, anyone else but who I really was…lest I have to face the parts of me that weren’t so pleasant. Even down to the fallen daughter out of San Joaquin….Wanda you know that’s you darlin’….showing me colors I’d never seen, drank the bottom out of my canteen (Honey Brown Beer anyone?)…then leaving me in the fall…like a wrecking ball. Doesn’t that describe “Us” so beautifully? And Wanda is someone who remembers the little Dead Head I used to be…the little hippie child who never wanted to speak of her own life, just quietly listen to yours. The girl who seemed full of dark secrets, but nobody could crack the code…..

Girls like Wanda and I never escape the wrecking ball. Sometimes we ARE the wrecking ball, sometimes we are standing frozen, watching it slowly swing in our direction, helpless to stop it…..welcome to the wonderful world of madness. This song reminds me of us, the two of us and the maddening journey we have traveled together all these years. Sometimes I wonder if she didn’t have to suffer in order to be able to help me survive it….her wisdom and experience carries me through my days.

This song is just amazingly beautiful and if you’ve never heard it, find it! I got it from iTunes, but can’t find it for my playlist. There is the original version on Project Playlist, but it is not nearly as beautiful and soulful as the version with OCMS...but worth a listen. I just don't want it on my playlist because it sullies my fondness for it.


Anonymous said...

Oh Jada darlin', once again I am in tears. Not because I am sad, not because of BPD, but because the beauty that I have known in having you as a friend has been one of the greatest gifts in my life. You carried me through that very dark time in my life and I will NEVER help you as much as you've helped me. I'm quite sure that I would have died. I'm so happy that you did not have to lose what I lost before you knew what was wrong.

It's funny because during that time that you were watching me be who I was, I was busy watching others and trying to be them. I'm on a slow journey to know me now. I'm glad that I could help and I wouldn't be anywhere else baby!

The Pastoral Princess said...

God had a plan when he made sure our souls crossed paths...