Wise not Whys

River of Stones: Day 10

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition


The lyrics from songs by U2 have long inspired and uplifted. Woven tightly and intimately within the popular riffs and drumming are words that call to my heart. I cannot presume their faith simply because they are Irish, likely raised Catholic and wear Rosary beads around their necks. Madonna wore them too in her Like a Virgin video.

But their lyrics have brought great solace at times of strife. When I could easily select music that augments my sorrow or amplifies my rage, I am far better served when I listen to music that hooks into those emotions but leads me away into a more restorative space. I don’t need help being maudlin. I don’t need the musical equivalent to a 5th of Jack (which would be a great name for a band, by the way). I also dislike saccharin doses of artificial hope, like some lyrical Happy pill. It is why I shy away from most Christian music with one exception (and Creed doesn’t count). I have always enjoyed Ginny Owens‘ music, especially her first album, Something More and more specifically the track titled, This Road.

Optimism is a choice. Happiness is a state of mind. Hopefulness is a perspective. And it is far, far too easy to get stuck in the WHY? Why me? Why NOT me? Like a skipping record, glitched and stuttering on the same thought, our whole existence gets hijacked and derailed seeking an answer to “Why?”

And while I have a hard time not digging, picking and theorizing over the “whys” searching for an answer, I can redirect myself to accept facts. Why doesn’t matter. It just IS. I just AM. I don’t know WHY. I may never know why nor am I meant to understand. I am just meant to take my grain of sand and make my pearl, and out of friction and adversity comes beauty and wisdom. To be wise often means not seeking answers to the “whys”.

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