I Won’t Take the Easy Road

First Aid Kit seized my heart with this single guitar and perfect outdoor session

It’s not the flashiest of videos, nor the most complicated arrangement. But it’s heartfelt, and pure gold. As soon as I saw the video I knew I’d have to write about it.

This happens to have been published exactly eleven months month ago, on August 31, 2014. Its a simple two-vocalist and single-instrument performance of “My Silver Lining,” a song I’d been perpetually listening to all the time since I first heard it around the same time… a song I listened to while driving cross-country on my way here. Klara Söderberg and sister Johanna are truly stunning singers, with a clear ringing tone that reminds me of the windswept prairies and endless yellow grass that swept by me as I drove West.

I’ve been feeling some writer’s block lately, and though I’ve put pen to paper in a few instances I’ve mostly kept that writing to myself. A lot has changed in my life since the late months of summer 2014, when I last sang songs with my younger brother and stretched out under the sky in Southern Illinois that I find myself missing more and more as I spend time so far away. This song breathes nostalgia and wisdom, and quiet strength and even majesty. It speaks to the strings of my soul, in the same way that fileds of sunflowers, impossible folklore, a campfire by a lake, or a ride in a hot air balloon might. It’s a song of heartache, modest hope, endurance, and ambition.

It’s been a time of strong emotions for me. I recently traveled again to see a lovely wedding in one of the most stunning parts of the country I could dream of, and a journey into California that I had long looked forward to and anticipated. It was as heart-achingly lovely and powerful can experience to be a part of as I could have hoped for. To see the road fly by me, this time with loving company, made me feels so alive. First Aid Kit’s lyrics re-awakens heartaches of the past in me, but also seems to help me feel life and healing even as I reminisce on those things I’ve felt in my past and all I have to look forward to.

Writing again feels good, though it always carries a painful edge, like I am drawing blood or rising and challenging my day-to-day inertia. To keep silent too long, though begins to feel criminal to me, and to feel too afraid to put my emotions and opinions into words begins to feel cowardly. It is easy to slip into quietness that, for me, begins to weigh. And at times, to open up and speak  from my heart, where everything is fragile, involves putting myself at risk. But my soul needs me to do so.

To my core, I feel this song. I feel it to the roots of my bones. It feels like experience, like sensitivity, like strength sometimes borne in sadness and joy sometimes borne in pain. It’s OK I think, to be wounded, to be quiet for a times, to step softly, and at times, to trip and fall. Life feels at times like the voice of these two sisters… clear as a bell, strong, broken, and glowing. Unaccompanied though they are, the sisters, and this song, do just that… they glow.

If you like what you hear, check out the studio version of this song too, with it’s great orchestral section. Or just keep watching more of these Cardinal Sessions on Youtube… they’re all worth your time. Apologies again for the delay in my publishing again. Feels good to be writing. Much love and bisous, obviously! A toute a-l’heure!

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