Freeform Friday: A Favorite Song

This song has been on my mind constantly in the past few months, so I thought I’d share it with everyone.


But why this song?

Obviously I like the music. The lyrics stir something within me, though. The opening lines hit hard.

Set me aflame and cast me free

Away you wretched world of tethers

Through the endless night and day

I have never wanted more.

These lyrics are on the whiteboards over my desk. To me they express the desire to not have to punch a time clock, to be able to write full time and support myself on my novels. They also describe the sense I feel when diving into the worlds I create. My heart is aflame with the story, the characters, and I have sincerely never wanted more than the freedom that comes from creative expression.

The next part steps away from the writer and speaks to a different piece of me.

Always thought that I would stand

Before the faceless name of Justice

Like some law unto myself

Like a child of God again.

Not only is that powerful imagery in its own right (and a reason I love VNV Nation in general), but to me it speaks of a yearning I can trace back to my childhood. What if we could reach the moment of judgement with a clear heart, with at least some of our innocence intact? To be pure, not in the religious sense, but purity of spirit, with honor, compassion, integrity, and faith all blended within us to leave us shining?

The world does try to take that away, doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more.

And if rain brings winds of change

Let it rain on us forever

I have no doubts from what I’ve seen

I have never wanted more.

The world in which we live, whether we look at the entire planet, or our personal lives, are in need of change and growth to achieve that sense of liberation. Often we see global change as frightening because it means conflict between nations and we’re over here as individuals screaming at the leaders to stop making things bad for everyone. Change at that level can be good, though. Look at the climate accords. Personally, I think we need to seriously reconsider how leaders get into those positions and who we’re choosing – in every nation. (But enough politics)

At the level of our own lives, change is still scary, or can be. At the point we recognize a change is needed, we begin to grasp the power to shape our future. We can forge a new path for ourselves and even take friends and family along by encouraging them to look at options they may not have known. In fact, I will never forget the day I was in a coffee shop and caught a bit of conversation between three black men.

One was facing struggles with his personal relationship and career plans. The other two, one of a similar age and one a little older, counseled him. I didn’t hear the entire conversation, I was trying not to be rude and eavesdrop, but it struck me as a very powerful moment. The men who had already crossed through the fields of change this man faced were sharing the roadmap to show him he could find the way forward, and to help him avoid pitfalls and needless detours.

Corporate America has taught us “change is constant” and made it into something we face with a sense of powerlessness. The idea of change never ending is rarely something we embrace with joy, but it’s because we’ve been trained to submit to changes imposed on us by others.

Let it rain on us forever.

Let us find a sense of direction for ourselves, to shape our lives and our world into a place where we each have a chance for growth, the opportunity to improve ourselves and others.

I have never wanted more.

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