Bigger and bigger

I’ve circled back to my obsession with Passenger’s music this week in preparation for seeing him live in a few days (enter squee here!). It’s effect on my soul doesn’t seem hampered or dampened in the least. Interestingly, in fact, it seems to be working at even deeper levels this time around.

This is a heavy week. A broken-hearted, kind of depressed sort of week. From the macro level of so much needless suffering and pain and violence and disease happening in the world, to the very micro level of my own wounded little heart everything just feels like it’s right on the border of too much. In the last few days I’ve felt aching pains and sharp ones, emotional migraines to soul amputations. Longings have resurfaced, unmet needs have needled back into my consciousness, feelings of helplessness in the face of others’ pain have threatened to overwhelm. There doesn’t seem to be space for much more than all the pain.

Then I hit “play” and Whispers or Coins in a Fountain or Fairytales and Firesides come on. The chords and melody and raspy voice start to wash over me, and at first it almost seems to add to the pain. With such heightened sensitivity it all feels like too much. But then a shiver slinks down my spine and the chills shake something loose inside. All the little hurting spots are slowly surrounded by healthy, good flesh that protects them as they throb and stab until eventually there’s enough space around the soreness to breathe. There’s a cushion now, a space of beauty that can’t drown out the suffering but stubbornly reminds me that there is more than the suffering. And that more is valuable and real.

My heart’s still broken tonight. I still feel overwhelmed by the sadness everywhere. I’m still not sure how to heal myself or anyone else. But this music gives me hope that the human experience of struggle and hurt can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful and good. Hope is hard to come by for a cynic like me. I’m increasingly grateful for Passenger’s ability to offer it to me in tastes I can understand.

We’ll drink though we’re drunk

We’ll sink though we’re sunk

We’re fucked but we say that we’re fine…

We long for journeys and the roadside

We long for starlight and the low tide

Yeah we long for fairytales and firesides…

We are coffeehouse cynics

Too righteous, too rigid to believe

Disappointed romantics

Scraping the hearts off our sleeves…

We long for carnivals and fairground rides

Oh we long for journeys and the roadsides

Oh we long for fairytales and firesides




  1. Gabrielle said,

    August 19, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I keep returning to his music, too, the Spotify playlist never silent for long. My reaction is slightly different, but not far off from yours. Passenger gives me hope for art, reminds me that this effort and frustration and deep hurting can bring hope to someone else. It’s not for naught.

    I hope seeing him live is everything it could be for you. And I hope you get to meet him so you can tell him how in love with him you are.

    • MandyK said,

      August 19, 2014 at 10:11 am

      I’m so glad others are on this obsessive ride with me 🙂 And I’m pretty sure he’s the one who wants to marry me. I mean, unicorns. Come on.

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