MUSICBy: Ralph Waldo EmersonLET me go where'er I will,I hear a sky-born music still:It sounds from all things old,It sounds from all things young,From all that's fair, from all that 's foul,Peals out a cheerful song.It is not only in the rose,It is not only in the bird,Not only where the rainbow glows,Nor in the song of woman heard,But in the darkest, meanest thingsThere always, always something sings.'T is not in the high stars alone,Nor in the cup of budding flowers,Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,But in the mud and scum of thingsThere always, always something sings
Oh Ralph, how truly I love thee. I often wonder if were he still alive, he and I might be the best of friends.
Hey, also, I like poetry.; just FYI.
This has been one of my favorite poems for a very long time; because as a sufferer of depression and anxiety, it speaks into my darkness and brokenness on the days my soul is having "bad weather." As I sit here in my writing spot out in the world, my view is sunny. To my left, a bright yellow mug filled with the foamy nectar of tired moms waits to do its duty and the warmth of a late June morning on my shoulders envelopes me like a blanket worn soft by years. It's hard to think of such days that these little luxuries don't fill me with peace, but they exist. Just this week, a bad weather day took me by surprise.
In these hard days, it's hard to hear anything but the chaotic noise in my head. The boom and barrage of lies flung at me by the enemy. Lies about myself, my marriage, and my kids. Crippling worry and heart racing anxiety that makes my bones quake in my body. And despite the attempts for my mind to get a hold of my heart; it rules me.
But this poem, it seeps into my mind and shows me that even in the mud and scum, something always sings. This truth aids me in keeping my bad weather days from stretching into weeks and months. Because in the bad weather, I choose to sing.
I've never been shy about the fact that this is my thorn in my flesh, my cross I bear to my grave, a match I'll wrestle forever. And I carry it in pain and struggle; but blessedly, I never carry it alone and never for long. I share this poem with you in the wake of more suicides, and the subject of mental health still whispered and not shouted; all to say, "that even in the mud and scum of things there always always something sings."
Nothing that thrives in the dark can remain victorious in the light. Depression is real, massive, and unbearable at times, but if we give it voice and drag it into the light of the day, we can kill it there. In the light, the lies you are told can be combatted, the bad weather endured, and the burdens are eased when cast upon many shoulders. We live in a dark world, but through the darkness, Christ granted us the light we crave; the light we yearned for, the light that is victorious.
A favorite Christmas song speaks to this same sentiment.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
A dark and desperate world lay quiet in its hopelessness, "But in the darkest and meanest things, something always always sings." Bursting forth onto the scene, Christ brought light into our brokenness. Even in his birth, He shows us this truth, that when he was born in poverty and secret, not at all the way a king's birth should be celebrated, alone and tired in a field - dirty shepherds praised His coming.
Because something always sings.
Whether you deal with depression and anxiety like myself, or you are a tired mom on your 5th load of laundry, or you are an overworked dad struggling to find the joy. Whether it's alcohol, or porn, or food, or strife, or debt, or infertility, or grief, or hopelessness that has you chained today; whatever it is that is keeping your soul in bad weather, I urge you to find help. Shoulder the burden with others, take the meds, do the therapy, drag it into the light.
Because something always sings.
My message isn't telling you to just, "Be happy and get over it." Believe me, I know the reality. My message is this, there are places for you, there is hope for you, there are people for you, something always always sings.
Try church. While some churches aid us well, it is more often than not thought to be a blemish on your "faith meter" to be someone that struggles with mental illness. To that, I say, quit it church. Churches are a hospital for sick and broken people, not museums for the morally aristocratic. Seek out a church that puts you in front of a therapist and then sits Jesus on the couch next to you under His protective and loving shoulder, where you are always meant to be.
I'm reminded again of something more, a verse in scripture.
"I tell you," said Jesus, "that even if these people remain quiet, the stones will cry out."
Jesus is no stranger to the pain and struggle of this world. Rejected, beaten, opposed; Jesus endured. His word here is a testament to why. Because He knew the truth about Himself and His Father; that even if no one believed, the rocks would still cry out.
Something always sings.
Doesn't have to be a symphony, doesn't have to win American Idol.
Just find a tune.