I Am Underwater

Life is sometimes like that.

I began this experimental blog in living hopefully, in my childhood bedroom, ‘shielding the makeshift tarpaulin covering my parents’ fragile existence from the menacing weather encroaching them.’

Today I am back here. Precisely. Because sometimes life is like that. Every turn comes back to the same place.

The place is not the problem, it’s the turns.  


The Solace of Song

In times of trouble, it is music rather than Mother Mary that comes to me. I turn to music to cheer, comfort, calm, care, console.

Today I need The Exchange, an extraordinary elegy by Torres. It does not cheer or comfort or calm. It makes me cry, usually at 4.05 when she sings for 20 secs ‘Mother, Father, I’m underwater’. It’s a painful song, a pressing on a bruise, sonic purging kind of song.

I could not write this song it would take too much of me. Which makes me even more grateful and admiring that Torres gave it to us.

Lyrics

My mother lost her mother twice
Once in '54, then later in life
The exchange was quick and quiet
The records sealed, the names made private
Her search began and ended with a judge
Her papers had been claimed in a freak basement flood
An entire family tree, an eternal privacy

Underwater
Underwater
I am afraid to see my heroes age
I am afraid of disintegration
If you're not here, I cannot be here for you
If you're not here, I cannot be alone
Mother, father
I'm underwater
And I don't think you can pull me out of this

There's virgin oil painted over my door
And hotel soap from every city
Lined up in my window
Blew my per diem on an eighth of Blue Dream
So I can breathe but I still can't breathe
Around my mouth, brown paper bag
Founding fathers on my back

I'm no martyr
I'm no martyr
I'm just
Afraid to see my heroes age
I am afraid of disintegration
If you're not here, I cannot be here for you
If you're not here, I cannot be alone
Mother, father
I'm underwater
Underwater
Underwater

I've so much that I want to sing
But there's no room for toothbrushes in poetry, I
Pray to Jesus Christ incessantly, I
Shine my shoes for the Fat Lady, I'm still
Underwater

I'm underwater
Underwater
Underwater
I am afraid to see my heroes age
I am afraid of disintegration
If you're not here, I cannot be here for you
If you're not here, I cannot be alone
Mother, father
I'm underwater
And I don't think you can pull me out of this

I will no longer claim to know
Where we go when it's time to go
But when you go, will I go too?
When you go, I am going too
I'm underwater
I'm underwater
Mother, father
I'm underwater
I'm underwater
I'm underwater
Mother, father
I'm underwater

Yours hopefully,

Nazneen xxx


Yours Hopefully is an experiment in living hopefully. With music and musings, from a singer-songwriter-scientist. Why not subscribe and get a post every Sunday in your inbox?