A friend from several years ago introduced me to this short-lived band called October Project. The female lead singer has a sort of operatic voice and the music is complex. I was listening to their CD Falling Further In this morning on the way to work. The second track, “Something More Than This,” always makes me attempt to actually sound in tune even though I know it’s almost impossible with this singer. This song resonates with me deeply. It may be a simple breakup song, but to me, it speaks to my own spirituality. Here are the lyrics I love best, the ones that give me chills as they are sung so melodically, like a piece of a reverie that is stuck in some fold of my subconscious thought:
In the shadow cast as you were leaving
In the beauty of the ending day
There is always something to return to
Something you allow
To slip away…
In the empty corners of the evening
In the vacant beauty of the wind
There is always something to remember
Something to remember
It’s the kind of song I’d love to sing in church because it touches me in that spot where all of my spiritual insight originates. I guess I could get away with the song at a UU. I’m always coming up with music I’d rather use that the standard hymns of praise, something that means more to me. I never know why praise has to always indicate God. Perhaps the Divine can be implied (as it often is in U2 songs).
“In the shadow cast as you were leaving” as always makes me think of my husband (of course). It always brings me back to our bedroom where he lay dying with my figure bent over him. For some reason, I remember this scene not from my own perspective, but from that of a third person in the room, observing. I’ve sometimes imagined that my memory of that day has been juxtaposed with the view from Mike’s “eyes” as his non-body essence watched. I don’t know when my memory of his dying moments changed from my perspective to my imagined view from his, but the image is stuck there now and I cannot rid myself of it.
I always picture the shadow of his soul across the bed, looking down at us in hopeless despair. He knows he’s not coming back and he can’t tell me that. It’s a desperate situation. I’m trying to help; he’s already departed his body.
This song makes me think of that moment. The ending day referred to is the end of a chapter, an era of my life. Endings hurt. Yet, a day ends–no matter how bad it was–with the fading beauty of the setting sun. And though you want desperately to stop the hands of time, you find yourself drawn to admire the beauty. There’s something sad in the setting of the sun, but something hopeful, too.
In the next verses of the song, I feel urged to remember the past but build something new, to not let the emptiness turn into something less than beautiful. Maybe at the moments when we feel the most alone, we are reminded of the preciousness of life. Don’t dwell in the “empty corners of the evening,” don’t let the “vacant beauty” of the wind sweep you off your feet; find that thing that moves you and start it.
The chorus affirms my impression of the song’s “move on but don’t forget” message:
Whatever you fear
Whatever you hide
Whatever you carry deep inside
There’s something more than this
It’s a deeply powerful urging, backed with glorious music, to not let fears and sadness and all your other baggage suppress you. There’s something more than this. I like the vagueness of that statement–“something” instead of names or ideas. “Something” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone and for me, with my amorphous beliefs, it is the perfect word. There is something more than this. I know I’ve felt something. I just can’t tell you what. (Maybe, says my skeptic, this “something” is just my own insight, my own feeling of connectedness with myself. I’d like to think it was more than that, but I just don’t know.)
This song makes me gasp in its perfection–music, words, message all merge together to create an experience that moves me to sing/scream at the top of my lungs. I find myself uplifted whenever I hear it.