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:
- 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.
- I often abandon my phone to die an anonymous death.
- “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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.