My life is a chorus

My life is a chorus. Yesterday I completed a song that has been in process for some time. It occurred to me as I finished writing the bridge (usually the hardest part for me) that the chorus was the only part of the song that really mattered. The rest of the song tells the story, adds some imagery, makes a couple of points. But truly, the chorus is what tells – several times – what matters most.

(comic borrowed from

The chorus of a song often stays with us. Take Bob Dylan’s, “it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”  Or “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah…” or Phil Och’s, “I’m not marching anymore…” The chorus in a song may matter most because it often expresses the entire story.

In thinking about it, most songs I have written tell the entire story in the chorus, like:

“Maybe it’s the wind, maybe it’s the rain, or the katydid’s alarm

Maybe it’s the way you lean against me or hold me in your arms

But in between my plans and following my dreams, I find it so amazing that what’s real came in between”

That song, written in 2007, I believe, has some sweet imagery after a mystical encounter with a thunderstorm in Nashville, TN. I love the song because I get to “get drunk on fireflies” and “dissolve like lightning in the air” every time I sing it. But really, the chorus contains the message that most needed to be communicated: the most authentic encounters with ourselves come in between the plans we make.

In the song I just completed, the chorus is:

“Love is as close now as it will ever be and hatred is painfully near; these are the choices we make every minute; choosing to love through our fear.”

Reading that, I could even say that it is what I most want to say in my life, period. It’s not very often I think that. (It is important as writers of any kind, that we remember not to believe everything we say.) But today, I do think this is what I want to say: The path of love is satisfying, but it is often painful. It is a journey worth taking in all areas of our lives.

My life is a chorus, I suppose. I wonder about you. What are the catchy words or tunes in your life? I am hoping you are finding ways to share them.

The primary story behind “The Messes we Make” is here .

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