"...As on the wings of eagles, you'll soar higher and higher."
There's something I've been needing to write (for a long time now!): "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Now seems to be the time to write it, and it all began with this contact email through my website, October 10, 2013:
"Hello! I'm Kaylie from Nipawin Saskatchewan!! Im doing a research for school and I thought you would be the perfect one! I was wondering does any of your songs deal with social Issues? please get back to me ASAP! thanks:)
This request came at a time when I was questioning: "Gee, is my music even reaching anyone?" Truthfully, it is; as I get contacts and followers (on Twitter!) from all over the world- and locally, people approach me telling me "how much they love my music." For this, I am very grateful. Yes, I am very approachable and a friend to many.
Before I continue, my deepest apologies to Kaylie and Denise for not publishing this earlier.
To Kaylie: Hello again...I'm sorry I didn't find your email until early evening, yesterday. I don't know that you still need the info pertaining to my music (song) and its relevance to social issues.
Yes, my song, "Who Can This Be" in its structure, message, tone, and effect deals with social issues. I originally wrote the song a few years ago and under a different title. When it came to recording, I felt I needed a song on my "first CD" that expressed the "Grace of God" in my life and the beautiful place I now find myself in, personally (Wellness! Drug and alcohol free now for fourteen years and nine months...and a professionally published musician, poet, writer, and storyteller). To contrast this to where I had come from, you can visit my blog on my website and read the post entitled, "Touched By A Higher Power," which was my first Chicken Soup for the Soul publication and one of many miraculous events that has affected and changed my life. The Great Grace of God in all of this, in all my years of using, and sometimes blacked out states- I never took my anger, rage out on another human being; I always took it out on myself and the environment around me. Even in my (then) drunkenness, God protected me and others in this.
With my CD release and the tremendous blessing that it has been (the entire process and all contributing professionals from the pre-production work to the final mixing- paid for by my producer and the company "Liquid Tension Music"), and reflecting on my journey of recovery- I just really needed a song that exemplified this journey- from death, destruction, hatred, rage, anger, and pain: to wellness- health, hope, strength, happiness, love, joy, inspiration, and peace. "Who Can This Be" became that song.
Two days before going into the studio to lay down tracks for pre-production- I took this song originally titled, "Stephanie: Who Can This Be," and totally scrapped every lyric but kept the chord progression, harmony, and melody. As mentioned earlier, I began to reflect on my life, then, thinking not only on the atrocities of my life, I began to think of the lives of many, many others- both individually and globally, I began to re-write the lyrics. I imagined the times that I had hurt myself while drunk, the houses, homes that I destroyed; the doors that I kicked in and the windows that I broke, smashed, and the furniture that I threw around. I seen the cuts on my hands, arms, and the blood pouring out from the lacerations caused by the sometimes metal, decorated glass. I seen my hurt, anger, rage, and pain- then I remembered the students of Tiananmen Square in China who were mercilessly shot and killed; I began to think of woman in middle eastern countries who were shamed, punished, or beaten, and who sometimes had acid thrown on them if they did not do what their husbands told them to, or, if they were just too beautiful and the husband acted out of jealousy. I began to think of the residential school era and its horrible, lingering effect on my people, the First Nations People. I too am a survivor of the residential school: I know too well of the horrors that took place in these institutions. The beatings, abuse- sexually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know too well of the great, great shame and the many little Indian children who did not make it out of these places alive. As I re-wrote the lyrics, these are the images that flashed through my mind: vast devastation, destruction, and death, I thought of 911, and the extreme deathly horror that it was. I thought too of domestic violence against women and how prevalent this is in today's society, and how many of these woman live in fear for their lives and will not tell a soul but unwillingly choose to suffer for fear of death and further beatings. The writing of "Who Can This Be" became a song that I wanted to send out to reach everyone who has ever encountered this type of violence, hurt, destruction, and pain. To let them know that there is hope; that life, and things can change; that life can get better.
As it says in my song description:
“Who Can This Be” a testimonial of the Grace of God in Godwin’s life written also in the reflections of the destruction of nations and peoples through out the world- and to bring and give hope to people who have experienced, and continue to experience abusive, hurtful relationships: "If you think that you're hopeless, with no help to be found- you've been beaten, you've been battered, and there's blood all around. You cry and you pray, looking for the light of day...yet in this deathly darkness, you only seem to stay." The song takes you on a journey of tragedy to triumph- "Your great strength within now shall arise as a fire, as on the wings of eagles, you'll soar higher and higher."
Yes, the song "Who Can This Be" deals with social issues.
I have written to you out of the integrity, humility, and honesty of my heart, I trust that my words are safe with you.
Thank you for contacting me and I pray this for you...is useful.
Kaylie's response: Wow!! thank you so much!! That helped me a bunch... Thanks again... I will contact you if I need further help but it looks like I won't!
From her teacher:
Thank you so much for sharing your story with Kaylie. She was thrilled with your response!
She will be sharing it with the class along with your song.
I encourage my students to reach out to the people who they are researching. In this digital age it is so easy to learn from the "experts" so when researching and learning about music why not contact the musicians!
Again I thank you for your words (they truly inspire) and have a blessed day.
My deepest and heart-felt gratitude to Kaylie and Denise: "Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to, and share my music and story with others."
This comes too, as of yesterday, when I was approached by another student from a college here in Vancouver, asking me if I could be the subject of a presentation she's been asked to do: delightfully- "Yes!"
It's my absolute pleasure to help, bring hope, and inspire.
Again, "without you- there would be- no me!"