Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Songs in Season - Natasha Bedingfield "Try"

I'm not ashamed to say that the way Natasha Bedingfield wears her heart on her (album) sleeve completely resonates with me. I've heard her songs dismissed as pop-y gush, but to me they are odes to authenticity: honesty distilled into sing-along anthems.  I have several of her albums, each one with a particular song that transports me back to a really distinct season in life. 

On reflection, each phase seems characterised by some kind of longing. I listened to "Wild Horses" incessantly in my late teens when I was learning to let go of a beautiful friendship/crush and hoping for something even better from love in my future. And I listened to "Say It Again" endlessly when that love eventually caught up with me and left me speechless. It was "Love Like This" that kept me celebrating when long-distance was taking its emotional toll, and "Pirate Bones" that reinforced my principles when short-term pain threatened to eclipse long-term gain.

But the story behind "Try" is bittersweet. The first time I heard this song its lyrics inspired me to persevere and hope for the best in a situation that seemed less than ideal. Be steadfast: "if its something you love, you don't leave it / if it's something you care for you keep it". That was the message I heard on second, third, multiple listening until one day, instead of being inspirational, it started to feel like it was only highlighting the futility of holding out for the unattainable.

As much as I used to want things to be different, there are now other lines lingering in my thoughts:

"To everything there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3v1 

Now, instead of looking for solutions, I find myself looking for the grace to celebrate that some things are not forever. And that's okay too. The song served a great purpose in its own time, as did the situation. But maybe it's time to move on.

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