Song 56 – I’m Alive
Last month, when I was staying at a rented house in New Hampshire, I skimmed through Steven Tyler‘s autobiography. It was pretty much what I expected: drugs and rock’n’roll, but I still found it shocking. Within every chapter, Mr Tyler either bragged about the drugs he was using or congratulated himself for checking into rehab. The book ended with him addicted to opioid painkillers for foot pain.
Another thing that shocked me in the book was how insecure he seemed. He had a keen memory for every mistake in his life, but he also had a way of blaming them on everyone around him. It was always, “the guitar player was out of tune” or “the keyboard player made an error” and “everyone else was doing it”. Mr. Tyler came across as egotistical and blind to his faults. His accomplishments only made him more blind to these shortcomings, so instead of making him stronger, they made him weaker.
I guess this month’s song is the opposite of all that – it’s about facing weakness and fear. It’s about being human, and not a caricature of one.
What a month! I spent a week in New York City with Robert, writing music for a dance company. It was magical, watching the dancers and the choreography come together while the music came together at the same time. And then there was the solar eclipse, which was a shockingly intense experience. The strangeness of looking at where there should be the brightest light I could imagine – a light that could instantly blind me – and instead seeing the blackest black I’ve ever known. The pupil of an eye, about the size of a nickel, staring down on me – unblinking for almost 3 minutes. For weeks after the experience, every time I closed my eyes, I saw that perfectly circular black dot in my mind, as if it had seared itself into the surface of my brain the way the light should have.
If you want to sing or play along with the tune, here’s the song sheet!