“evermore” – Taylor Swift (feat. Bon Iver)

I’ve been listening to Taylor from the beginning. I have a 20 year old daughter. Taylor and the Jonas Brothers are the two throwbacks to early musical parenting that rarely cause me to change the music. I’ve seen her in concert multiple times. She’s cool. But she’s not MINE. My love for Taylor came through the eyes of my children. And they love her. Like really love her. Sorry, girls, still no tickets for the tour. #yougotcollegeinstead

When we were locked in our houses in the spring of 2020, some of us cried. Some of us raged. Some of us created. Taylor did all, apparently. And the result of round one was the album folklore. In July of 2020, I was wandering the neighborhood streets still keeping my 6’ and hiding from so many feelings. Damn it, Taylor. You were my kid’s. And then you sang about me. And my big adult mess of feelings and love and heartbreak. You weren’t singing about being 15 or “boys” or even lovers. Which was still too young. But mirrorball and exile and mad woman? You generation buster, you. The number of tears I cried walking the blocks of our old neighborhood to this album could fill a bucket. Or ten. And then December came along and so did evermore. Taylor released evermore on December 11, 2020. That exact weekend, the wheels came off the world that I knew. And 6 weeks later I moved to Austin.

Of all of Taylor’s songs that have carried me in the tears of a bubble bath and the heavy of a deep breath, this one rings. In my bones. It has helped me. It has gutted me.

“Hey December, guess I’m feeling unmoored.”

Yes, then. Yes, now.

I don’t like that this song made the list. I really wanted to say that I was over the TS affair, but apparently these albums are in the groove of my most recent healing journey. So, I let them stay. Like I really have a choice. Just listen to these words:

I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone trying to find the one where I went wrong…

Can’t remember what I used to fight for…

And I was catching my breath, barefoot in the wildest winter, catching my death…

And I couldn’t be sure I has a feeling so peculiar that this pain would be for evermore…

That’s the quiet. It’s not containable in a single date or a memory or a song. When it’s quiet, it’s deafeningly quiet. The quiet steals the details of the story and fills the silence with the fullness of the emotional story. One that often requires a dramatic, scary, new voice to speak a language that terrifies. The language of healing. Words that don’t sound like they fit.

For someone that has never been soul still, Bon Iver is a sharp knife and a surgeon’s stitch….that falsetto. Do you hear what he does to her pain? Meets her there. Which is really the deepest human needed. We just need to be met in our most broken and loved through it. That’s what these two albums did for me in ways that a live and in-person human could not. It was, and some days still is too tender for skin. So, Tay Tay, you get to stay.

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