Songwriting and the Critic that Keeps me From It

I can't say it any better than Christa Wells.  Christian singer whose song entitled Held reached into my heart 4 years ago and opened my eyes to the beauty of the faithful's struggle.  She wrote this song after she lost 2 loved ones in a span of 48 hours as relayed and sung  by Natalie Grant.


this is what it means to be held
how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
and you survive
this is what it means to be loved
and to know that the promise was
when everything fell
we'd be held.

It was not until a year after that I discovered how these lyrics were inspired by the verse Deuteronomy 33:27 that says "The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms".  I tried to write a song that responded to that just a little after.  

let the weight fall down
let the tears roll
it's okay to let a frown wake up
that little ache
that's hiding inside your soul
let the sun go down
on some dream that has died
it's okay to sit a while and look
at the broken pieces of a life
you've tried to find

'cause underneath of it all
are everlasting arms 
that won't let you escape
to break alone
the everlasting arms that can stand
to embrace your troubled soul
these everlasting arms that hung long
on a cross and didn't let go.
everlasting arms.

Songwriting is one of the things I love to do aside from journaling.  It's been a dormant passion these past 3 years but I remember how it was alive back then.  I miss it.  I miss feeling the swell of the harmony as it gives birth inside my soul and catching the words while I stare through a blank empty wall and know that God has blessed me with them.

I’ve been soaking for a while now without the wave rising up. These past couple of weeks, I sense the swell coming but something isn’t quite there. And I’m beginning to think it’s not always about the idea… 
Sometimes it’s about trying to write in a way that’s akin to taking a quiet bath in the middle of Times Square. And the billboards and traffic? My own brain. Maybe we fall into Consciousness and can’t get up? Maybe the noise of a thousand tiny people in our heads telling us how to be and sound and watch out for this and don’t do that gets in the way of us carving out something fresh and true? I forget to light the candle of Intuition that has always led the way … Any writer can break down a great song for you and tell you why it works…AFTER it’s written. More often than not, we’re not actually thinking about those things during the process. Occasionally, a listener will point something out that looks like great crafting, and it’s a delight to hear, because I had never consciously worked it out.
It's true, the struggle between the critic and the artist is what keeps the work from being birthed.  I hope one day the critic in me will lose and the artist's heart will find it's way to the piano keys and write melodies again.

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