Brighter Things is Steven Jackson, an Alabama-based songwriter making music and words fit together so life might make more sense.  Music released here, free, weekly-ish. Sign up to get notifications of new songs & videos.

Love and shark attacks

Love and shark attacks

Let's just all agree that love is a fucked up feeling. It's terrifically terrifying. Before I discovered high doses of meds and meditation, every single thing of beauty felt like the inevitable target for something sinister. It's not. And so what if it was? Do we choose not to slide through the ocean for fear of lurking sharks? Do we not sprint or dance or make love, raging into double-speed pulse for fear of our hearts giving out? 

I come from a long line of broken hearts. Literally and figuratively. I watched as my grandfathers' hearts sent them in and out of hospitals and back to the earth. My father's took an emotional beating early in life and healed back ragged, if it ever healed at all. I learned that these little machines could be broken in a way that rendered them useless for pumping blood – or the spirit that makes life worth racing into boldly. Don't our chests pound and pause in panic and applause?

I lived in the shadow of those hearts. I felt it when I met my one, amazing one. I still feel it when I hold our babies. It is there, darkening. Now, I battle a sickness that makes muscles jump and fail and I can feel those shadows again every time. But I know the enemy and I welcome him in. I'm learning to make peace with the kind of cracks that will one day break valves and veins. Because it will happen. And it will come for all of us with crushing jaws. Will we be caught shivering, barely treading water? Or will we be swallowed whole, backstroking straight into the mouth of love?


press your hands together to remind me that we never understand the pain and perfectness of taking every breath.
— You Crush Me by Brighter Things

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Bring your crosses, beads, rugs, peyote and ayahuasca. I'll bring a guitar. Amen.

Bring your crosses, beads, rugs, peyote and ayahuasca. I'll bring a guitar. Amen.

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