While prepping chicken for the broiler, boiling the rotini and folding sheets, I got caught up in "Say" by John Mayer. This song unnerves me. Could it be the ukulele? (It seems whenever I am making a list of my all time favorites there is a ukulele involved.) I think not. It is the simplicity of a message I struggle with and it is always reassuring when someone else writes a song about it...and sings it in a key that is right in my range.
First, I never say what I need to say. I say a lot but never what needs to be said. I believe if someone had a gun to my head telling me to spill it I would still be overthinking my response and carefully considering the feelings of said gun holder before saying what I would need to say. Now, I have read the articles and seen the interviews. So, I realize this is a personal topic for Mr. Mayer as well. Which is why I think he is able to summarize the anxiety ridden paradox of words and feelings so well.
The tender spot for me is when I think about my oldest son who is now 7 years old. He says a lot, and he asks a lot of questions but can never quite get to the heart of what troubles him. This song brought me to tears every time I heard it last year it because he was in such a bad place. He was the "one man army fighting with the shadows in his head." We moved him 1000 miles from what was his home with promises of making a new home. It was going to be great! Well, long distance moves are never all great. At age 6 he figured this out the hard way. School wasn't what he expected, the house wasn't what he expected; etc. In his list of complaints and growing anger he could never get to the heart of it. "I am angry you moved me." How I wanted to climb in his 6 year old head and push away all the clutter so he could say it. Of course me wanting to "fix" it doesn't help him say it. It took me learning more about saying things to help him say them too. An interesting side note to this song is it drives my son crazy. "Why does he just keep saying say?"
A year later, we are content and saying a lot more and trying to fix things much less. Letting the feelings be and the words flow has made all the difference. So, today when the first pluck of the ukulele sounded I sang along feeling closure ...with a heart wide open.