I’ll Be Alright

In my living room are two little arm chairs turned in toward one another. They sit in front of the windows off the front porch where I have a blue porch swing and a comfy green leaning back chair and yellow, pink, and blue flowers of every hue. Often, the windows between the porch and living room are open and admit breezes and bird sounds. Places perfect for sitting and listening.

Many times since we have lived in this house, I have had a friend come over and sit with me here. With a cup of coffee or tea, and a feeling of privacy, we can visit and tell stories to one another. Just be together and know one another truly in a brief and lovely moment.

These moments of transparency are precious to me. And pivotal. When someone shares their true self with me, their true and vital story, their fear and wonder and fault and treasure, it is a tangible gift. I am always stunned by the feeling of it. By the actual weight of it. It actually, actually, means everything to me. As relationships, and people in general, mean everything to me. And at the risk of sounding self-serving, these glimpses into their real selves feel to me as if they allow me to be the best version of myself and create something that lasts forever.

The true stories I’m told become actual things to me. Things that I somehow am caring for and appreciating. A photograph, a dresser, a window, a curtain, a kitchen table. And somehow, slowly, those objects become alive with sounds. Far off sounds of cars and wind, or voices down stairs, or bugs in a field. Moods are there too in still life. Gentle, frightened, laughing, sleepy, lonely, in love. So for me, those true stories, only the true ones, come to life. Like little clips.

These imaginings, these reenactments, often become songs for me. Though it takes time. More time than most songs. The task of taking them from story to song is arduous and humbling, as it is a great and terrible responsibility to make them into a forever thing. The forever thing must hold true to itself but at the same time exist anew each time it is played or sung. It must be one thing living. And beget many, many more things to each next moment and listener.

I cannot in words translate for you the feeling of this privilege and just a little bit, this responsibility. Like the sin eaters who take in all the pain of another, I sometimes take in all the emotion and hope and sorrow and even anger of the one sitting with me as well. And I am willing to look and see and be in those moments with a completeness that is often reckless. But, these moments encapsulate and define what it means to me to be who I am as person and as a songwriter. These songs possess a meaning that other invented ones cannot. Their melodies are more beautiful, Their words are more powerful. The rhythm more engaging. As if the universe can feel the truth in it and rewards it with foreverness.

I know that I just had a moment like this is Cincinnati when I met a kindred and suffering soul. Sounds melodramatic, but I felt in that moment that I had gone through seven states just to meet this one person only two states away. The images and words of that meeting are floating around inside my head now, and I think there will be something to show for it sometime soon. I have to let it be there for awhile, and like a little life, form into shapes I can decipher. I have to melt that together with all that I saw when I was there, and all that I heard in his voice.

When I got home from tour this week to the gorgeous spring weather, the first thing I saw upon driving up to the house was my front porch, framed in yellow flowers, and the empty blue porch swing dangling. Beyond that the windows open to my living room. The thought that I had, after driving in a giant circle for 10 days straight, was that I just want to sit there. I just want to sit there, sometimes with a friend to tell me stories, sometimes alone and write forever things. If I get to do this sometimes, then I’ll be alright for all the rest.

You are invited. You are actually invited. Message me. This is what I want for myself this summer. If it’s hot, we can sit inside in the air conditioning. If it’s lovely, then out on the porch, and you can have the green leaning back chair.

front porch 1

Sara Quah- I’ll Be Alright

I’ll Be Alright

She was just a little girl
Always smiling
Frozen feet with no steady beat
Careful to listen in
Tried her best to accommodate
Always hiding
A pounding soul that betrayed hope
All her breath held in

The echo of those grown up words
Seem far enough away
Foreign now, though stifling
What awful things to say
She’s untied all those apron strings
But set her own to stay
She’s stronger now and she’s wondering how
She ever lived that way

She said
Someday I’m gonna run away
Someday I’m gonna run away
When my feet hit the ground
And my weight shifts around
When my stride
Measures my mind
When I start to think
That I’ll be alright
Yes, I’ll be alright

The pain in her side
That aches as she runs
Will break in due time
When she turns to find
Those brown eyes
But instead sees her own
She can look on in love
She can speak out in love
She can breathe out in love
She can breathe in love

Read the Other Posts in this Series:

Taking Me Back: My New Album

For You, Dear: Pre-Order Taking Me Back on Pledge Music

Physics

Foreverness

What I Heard

Closer

How I’m Feeling

Wallflower

A Little Bit

Take Me Away

20 Steps

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