The Lesson Music Taught Me


I recently listened to an old music playlist that reminded me of myself from about a year or so ago. Music helped me a lot with figuring out who I was and my place in the world. When I felt that no one could understand my pain, I found comfort in the lyrics of some songs. They helped put me put my confusing feelings and thoughts into and come to terms with myself. As a tribute, I took some lyrics that made the most impact on me and turned them into a poem. The italicized words are those lyrics.

Well here I am, or a shadow or me
And and the ceiling still looks the same
When I wake up every morning,
Wishing I hadn’t
Wishing sleep can numb my mind forever
But then I remember
That deep down inside
My heart runs free

I know it hurt you, cause you cried,
I know it killed you, but nobody died
So maybe it would be less painful
If you got used to my failures
My disappointments
I don’t know how to do any better
I hope you can forgive me
Because I don’t know if I can too

Forgiving who you are
For what you stand to gain
Just know that if you hide
It doesn’t go away
It’s only here to stay
Sometimes the only friend I have
Is that devastating anger inside me
Anger at the world
Anger at myself
But my fight with it ended
Once I felt the emptiness of being lonely
Once I had finally caught a glimpse
Of my helpless, naked human soul

I pray to a god I know doesn’t exist:
God make me famous,
If you can’t just make it painless
Because it’s easier to blame my issues
On a man up in the sky
Than drown in my infinite sorrows
Denial is a painfully easy pill to swallow
Blind comfort is an addiction
My pale green eyes are pitch black in the dark
When they can’t see reality

Forgetting who I love
Letting the sun set on my heart
And forcing myself to believe
That we’re one of many
Fractions of a part
But I wish that forgetting could be as simple
As remembering

Your head is humming and it won’t go
In case you don’t know
Thoughts and memories
Will swirl in my head until the end of infinity
Consciousness is a blessing
But also a curse
Though I know that one day
I will make peace with it
I still have so much time to do my best
While everyone’s dying
but girl you’re not old yet

Everyday I fight with myself and with the world
But I know I’m not the only one
I listen to music to forget
But also to remember that I am human
I am human

Songs: 1st stanza: Survive by Dr. Dog; 2nd Stanza: The World May Never Know by Dr. Dog; 3rd stanza: Little Dark Age by MGMT; 4th Stanza: Creature Comfort by Arcade Fire; 5th Stanza: I Only Wear Blue by Dr. Dog; 6th Stanza: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin and Step by Vampire Weekend.

8 thoughts on “The Lesson Music Taught Me

  1. Hi Kat! Music is the greatest balm for my spirit. I listen to a lot of diffferent genres, it just has to fit my mood or help me find a better mood. It’s a lovely poem and I enjoyed how you mixed the lyrics in with your soulful rhythm. There is a soft melancholy, a tiredness ending with a hopeful message of resolution, redemption, introspection and all those things that lift us up from our sadness we collect on our shoulders like leaden dust. You give us hope in spare words carefully rendered. Questions come at the speed of light and answers are returned at the speed of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Music does help me lift my mood, but most importantly, it gives me hope. Most of the music I listen to can be considered sad, but listening to the pain of the singer, is a good reminder that I am human and that I am not alone. Yet you are right, there will always be questions; questions that can only be answered by living through life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An extraordinary poem, Kat. Intense. So dark, intense. Your pain is so vivid in the poem, it was painful to read. I’m not exaggerating. I had to skip a couple stanzas. Maybe I’ll be able to read them later.

    I thought it hopeful that you tied your suffering into the human condition. You didn’t leave it merely being personal. To me, we whine when we assume only we ourselves suffer, and whining is bad for us — it’s a make of self-pity, which can be lethal.

    In my experience, it gets better, Kat. I know you often look back on childhood and wish you could return to it in some ways. But I think the truth is, real sustained happiness tends to come well into life. The past decade or so have been the best years of my life.

    As for music, I’ve actually now and then learned something new from it. Mostly it’s only emotionally reinforced what I already knew, but now and then, I’ve learned something new.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Paul. Though I never meant for this poem to be painful. Looking back, it is kind of a sad one, but I guess that’s what happens when I can’t really understand my own feelings.

      I hope it gets better. I really do. I think it has, in a way, when I realized that I’m not the only one out there in the world feeling this way. I know I being up my childhood a lot, but remembering a time when I was truly happy really helps. But that does not mean I want to go back. I want to fix my problems in my own way, and knowing that, in the past, a happy Kat had existed really makes the possibility of happiness feel real.

      Liked by 1 person

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