I Wrote A Song Called Jericho

I wanted to write a content piece about a new song I wrote called “Jericho,” but I am having some trouble with transparency. I don’t often write about things that actually happen to me. And if I do, I usually abstract those things into an unrecognizable form by most people who interact with me, albeit a few.

This song is actually about things that have happened to me, or are currently happening to me. But no song is ever an autobiographical account. If I had wanted that, I would have written that. Instead, I write songs, and songs by their nature are an abstraction, an extrapolation — something higher and more overarching than the subject matter from which they draw their roots.

So I will attempt to be as transparent as I can force myself to be about Jericho. As you listen, here are some facts about Jericho:

  1. I have broken a bone. In fact, I fractured a bone in my right foot several months ago crossing Fairbanks in front of Rollins College wearing wedge heels. I wore a walking boot for three months, and it was a generally unpleasant and humiliating experience. I can still feel it when I walk or stand for long periods of time.
  2. I often abandon my phone to die an anonymous death.
  3. “Ways of nature, ways of grace” is a quote from the movie Samsara. If you have not seen it, I encourage you to watch it as soon as the opportunity becomes available to you. It has served as an inspiration to more than one piece of writing of mine.
  4. I do believe in God, though I do not talk about this much. I have asked Him, on occasion, why I feel as though I evolved differently than other women my age who identify as Christians. Perhaps the verbiage of that last sentence gives you some clue as to why I have always felt more distantly in orbit.
  5. Sometimes I exaggerate choices, even counterfactual choices, that I have the potential of making into extremes of light and dark. This is a fundamentally ingrained thought pattern of mine, and although helpful from time to time, is overwhelmingly annoying and keen to distort my most well-reasoned efforts at maintaining my faith and sanity at the same time.
  6. Not everyone believes we are made of spiritual souls lurking between the atoms that comprise us. While this frame of existence is frightening to me, I can understand why it may be more comforting to others.
  7. Jericho was an ancient city in the Bible. It is not a story I know well, as I am not as well-versed in the Old Testament as I would like to be. My knowledge is heavily informed by Veggie Tales; however, I am familiar with the story that involves Joshua and his men marching around the walled city on God’s orders until it fell as prophecy decreed it would. There was a siege involved. As I make clear in the verse, the hypothetical “I” is not willing to destroy something in which “I” believe, even if others do not.
  8. I am in a long-distance relationship. This can be challenging from time to time, but despite the requisite difficulties, my world would be black and white without it.
  9. I have studied the violin for eighteen years. This solo was improvised and done in one take. I bickered internally about re-recording it for several weeks and eventually decided not to do so. Despite a few technical issues that other violinists will notice, I felt only the improvised take captured the bullshit I manufacture on a daily basis, especially that bullshit associated with the balancing act of jobs and school that I was attempting to manage at the time of its recording.
  10. I closed Jericho softly because most songs end with a bang. I am twenty-four years old, and after speaking extensively with my peers on this subject, I would like to think I wrote the last line with them in mind. We make the decisions that we do with limited information, as we are not privy to anything more omniscent. I can only speak for myself when I say that I will not destroy the things that are real to me: situations, relationships, or circumstances I create or by which I am created.

Those are some facts (and not-facts) about Jericho. I hope you construct what I have left in between for yourself — your own God, your own road, your own siege.

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