phase three: hope, or songs for turning the corner
Rather than try to come up with a lot of songs that matched my mood in this particular phase of “recovery,” I wanted to write a few thoughts about why I so love these two so much. These are the kind of songs that balance precariously atop the fence rail separating mournfulness from hope.
Bob repeatedly sings, “It’s not the end of everything, it’s just the end of everything you know.” I once texted this sentiment to a friend who was going through a divorce. He responded, “Wait, was that supposed to make me feel better?”
Good question. While on the surface, the thought of everything we know ending seems scary, but it can also be tremendously hopeful. When what you’ve known is heartache and unhappiness, it’s nice to believe that there’s a world of unknown people, experiences and even feelings that have the potential to be sweeter and more beautiful than even the best memories. Considering the vast pool of everything, I’m willing to bet that my knowledge and direct experience is fairly limited — like the notion that we only use 5 – 10% of our brain power. I take great comfort in the idea of what I don’t know — or use — and its possibility. I’m holding out hope that what’s to come and what I will create is going to be a sight more blissful than what I’ve put behind me.
As for the second of these, I love Paul Thorn’s hang dog, glass-half-empty way of expressing the small improvements and minimal progress along the road to recovery from heartbreak: “I have a good day every now and then; I count my blessings on one hand. I start believing the sun will shine again…” I love the way he lets the listener know just how awful things got with “I ain’t missed a day of work in two whole weeks now. I didn’t drink last night. Looked at your picture and shed just one tear before I turned out the light.” Somehow through the bleak funkiness of this tune, Thorn manages a mournful hopefulness, which is just what I need when I’m feeling that bad myself.
What songs let you know you’re not alone in your misery and give you hope?