I’ve decided to do a little blogging about some of the songs from our new album “I am Mountain.” I wasn’t going to do this originally, because, first of all, I think trying to explain poetry with prose can often be a counterproductive endeavor. It’s sort of like trying to explain why a joke is funny. The process can actually make it not funny.
So, here’s my disclaimer about this… If the poetry on “I am Mountain” is already speaking to you, let it speak. In fact, you may not even want to read these song blogs because the temptation would be to think that these thoughts are the “correct” interpretation of the art, which is not the case. In fact, this album was very intentional about leaving room in its lyrical choices for interpretation. We are all at different stages of our journeys and sometimes what we need to hear most is not the same thing as what the creator emphasizes in his or her own mind. That’s the beauty of art. Most of the songs on the album were co-written by a few of us in the Gungor collective, each of us with different thoughts and viewpoints, and honestly, we might even disagree about what these songs “mean”. So, again these song blogs should not be seen as the official “meaning” of these songs, but merely some of my personal thoughts about the art that make this album lyrically interesting to me personally.
So here we go!
The song “I am Mountain” was one of the last songs to be written for this album. Even though it’s the first song on the album, it is actually kind of the “conclusion” of the album as well. I considered putting the song later in the album, but to me, there is a cyclical and wandering nature to the album that made beginning in the place where we will leave off feel right. For me, the journey of this album begins and ends with mystery.
“I am mountain, I am dust
Constellations made of us
There’s glory in the dirt
A universe within the sand
Eternity within a man”
I wrote these lyrics after reading a book by my friend Rob that emphasized the beauty and mystery of life’s existence. Science shows us that we are literally made of stardust. http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=52 Quantum mechanics shows us how strange and connected this universe of ours is.
“We are ocean we are mist
Brilliant fools who wound and kiss
There’s beauty in the dirt
Wandering in skin and soul
Searching, longing for a home”
Here, we see the major theme of the album come into play for the first time. We have acknowledged the beauty of existence, but there is also something to be said for the dark side of existence. We may be oceans of complex mystery, but we are also as fragile and temporary as mist. We have these brilliant minds that allow us to speak and think and have consciousness, yet we often use these gifts so foolishly. We love and then destroy that which we love. The complexity of this skin that meets soul creates a dissonance within life’s very fabric.
“As the light, light, lights up the skies, up the skies
We will fight, fight, fight for our lives, for our lives”
Living in the beauty rather than the chaos is going to be a fight. Enlightenment and wisdom rarely come easily. But fighting to see that light that makes the world shimmer is worth the effort.
The chorus has this big, communal wordless cry that to me feels something like the aforementioned fight. We are all in this existence thing together. It’s big and its complex and we are all deeply connected within the same story, the same fight.
On some days, the world shimmers. On some days, our metaphors lose all their meaning, and the world saps the life out of us. At the end of the day, it’s all part of life. How are you going to live it? In fear or in love? With violent, clenched fists or with open hands?
“Momentary carbon stories from the ashes, filled with holy ghost
Life is here now, breathe it all in
Let it all go
You are earth and wind”