Monday, June 29, 2015

Song #26: Tapestry

I wrote this song at some point in the late 90s or early naughts.

There are a couple of things going on here.

The weaving metaphor has been a favourite of mine ever since reading Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain when I was a kid. The characters of Orwen, Orduu and Orgoch, the fates who live in the Marshes of Morva and weave the patterns of peoples' lives, have always been compelling ones for me. The story of Taran, the protagonist of the Prydain Chronicles, is one of free-will, of exploring, experimenting and choosing the sort of person he wishes to be.

For me, the process of psychotherapy was about that same process. It was about gaining insight about the ways I had been shaped by my genetics and upbringing, deciding what I wanted to change and finding the skills to grow into the type of person I choose to be.

And that is what this song is about, essentially.

There is also a little tongue-in-cheek in-joke in the title, Tapestry. At the time that I wrote this song, I was a HUGE fan of The Simpsons. There is an episode of The Simpsons (Episode 114, the Internet informs me) in which Marge goes to a therapist to help her with her fear of flying in an airplane. At the end of the episode, the therapist dismisses some additional memories that Marge brings to her with the words, "Yes, yes, it's all a rich tapestry," whereupon Homer dashes in and grabs Marge, pulling her out of the room with the words: "We don't need her perfect, we just need to get her on a plane."

Since perfectionism was one of the many qualities that I was trying to work through in therapy, these lines struck me as HILARIOUS. Through my years of therapy, I learned that some of my personality traits and archaic feelings are a lot easier to shift than others. Some things about myself I am more or less stuck with, and the best I can do is learn to accept who I am and where I'm at.

Some days, my perfectionism or my other unresolved feelings (some of the big ones are: humiliation, fear, anger) raise their ugly heads. And I have to remember that it's okay to be imperfect at being imperfect. Sometimes I wish that therapy could have "fixed" everything about me that is challenging or makes me feel uneasy, anxious, depressed, scared, angry, etc., etc. I have to remember to accept that that just isn't how it works. I'm a lot more comfortable in my own skin than I used to be. Most of the time now I'm able to enjoy being alive and I can feel good about who I am and how I'm choosing to be.

And that is good enough.

(And it's good to have a sense of humour about it all – Yes, yes, it's all a rich tapestry.)

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