On January 1 of this year I wrote a song called “Broken”. I’ve applied myself to about twenty songs before in my life, including three written with my friend Matt Corbin. Generally, when they come, I start picking around with chords first, then find the melody, get snagged by the hook, and then flesh out the narrative, lyrics, and bridge.
For this particular song, as with quite a few before and since, I decided to engage the services of a muse. I’d spent a few hours with the chords and even recorded myself singing a “na-na-na” refrain of the melody to listen to as I ran errands on my bike, but I didn’t know what the song was about. So I sent a message to the woman who had provided me with a kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, and asked her what she thought it was about.
She replied that it was about “finding beauty in the brokeness… living in the moment or the journey… vulnerability.” The song title worked quite well for the refrain I was thinking of, but it was a few more days before the long note to introduce it appreared. Nevertheless, by the end of the first day of the year, I had already written what I thought to be a really great song.
Knowing that I have a tendency to manufacture ridiculous challenges for myself and then fall apart when I don’t achieve my goal, I figured I would set myself a more managable objective than my initial dream of writing a new song every day. I decided to write one song a month. And although there have been many endeavors I have started toward and didn’t finish, I am very proud to say that yesterday, I wrote my twelfth song of the year.
I’m not sure that I’ll attempt to write a new song every day in 2021, but I am challenging myself to write at least something every day. Of course, while I pay credence to the Gregorians and appreciate that calendar, I tend to resonate more greatly with the planet and its moon, so I consider today, the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year from which the time from sunrise to sunset will expand until it blossoms in the summer, is the actual beginning of the year. So it is a pretty auspicious occasion for me, that I get to launch the first song I wrote last year on the first day of this one.
I have felt broken many times in my life, and I have thought the same thing about the world in which I live. But beyond all the brokenness I have seen, and often because of it, I have witnessed great beauty and miraculous healing occur. Although many of us are in a state where we feel that everything is broken, including us, may we realize the strength we have to mend, rebuild, and grow stronger.
Huge thanks to Martha Robinson for providing the beautifully haunting background vocals and to Kyle McAllister for weaving in his strings and mixing this all together.