Caught Up in the Swirl

Aug 24, 2011 by

“All at once, everything is different, now that I see you.” I have this on a loop on my iPod, the song “I See the Light” from Tangled. When I hear it I think no less than five hundred happy things.

I’m not a fan of my hair right now. It’s not my color or my length. Its curls aren’t the texture I would have chosen if I’d been given a choice. (In fact, if you’ll remember, God, I did actually give you some suggestions on how it could grow out if you saw fit. Hmph, is my response to your answer.) But this song comes from Disney’s version of Rapunzel in which we think she has magic hair. But she doesn’t. And with the song I remember the truth as Michael said it to me after we’d seen the movie and as I faced the realities of chemo: The sunshine was inside her.

It also reminds me of worship. There’s a sound familiar to me from years of really long church services. It’s strong on the keys. It has pretty melodies and sweeping strings. And this song has it all. When I picture Alan Menken on his piano writing the lyrical tune, I know he was caught up in a swirl of hope and happy and longing and fulfillment that comes from somewhere else, from the other side, from somewhere inside us all that points to something outside and over everything, a swirl that puts itself in laughter, in kind words, in songs – anywhere it might be able to reach us. I’m not saying Menken wrote the song to God or that God wrote through him. I am saying God reaches me, through it.

In the 90s film version of Little Women, someone says to Jo, “You should have been a lawyer.” And she answers him, “I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.” I suppose it’s a feminist statement, as if something outside her held her back. But I think of it simply as a statement on all the possibilities in life. And I like to imagine these and wonder what great many things I might have been as well. I like having wishes – really big and crazy ones that probably won’t come true but have and always will come true for someone and why not me? (I’ll go to New York one day, I’ll sing on a stage, I’ll be in the movies…). This song makes me think of a great many things I should have been and could still be someday.

And these are only three of the no-less-than-500 things. And so it’s on a loop. Round and round while I revise at night in the quiet of my house, full of hope and happy and of a great many things.

Image from Flicktalkers

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  1. One of my favorites, too. “And it’s like the sky is-s newwwww.” (Another of my 500 reasons: Zachary Levi. So perfect in that part.)

  2. Serenity

    Yea, I was definitely trying to figure out how to add Zachary Levi to the list. Man, I’d like to meet that guy. It’s always so pleasantly surprising when a guy who doesn’t sing for a living sings that well. Also, for the musically-inclined, I don’t think there’s actually any “keys” in the song. Have you noticed? It’s actually guitar – at least that starts it out – which I find a surprising twist to the usual Disney song.

  3. This reminds me of the quote “What are you doing?”…”Oh, we’re twirling” -YGM , and makes me want to change it to, “We’re swirling”

    I love this post. I like to dream big too, and this is a lovely reminder that it’s okay to do so.

  4. I hear that song, and I really want Alan Menken to write Jason and I our own personalized love song. :)

  5. Judy Harvey

    Serenity, do you know what I thought when I saw your picture with your new growth of hair? That it looked the color of your mother’s hair when she was young, and I believe it is a “lovely shade of auburn” (as Marilla encouraged Anne when Anne despaired of her red hair color).

  6. Serenity

    Eleanor, YES. One of my thoughts is definitely that I am adding “Be the voice behind an Alan Menken song” to my list of wishes.

    And thank you, Judy. I don’t want to tell you the auburn you saw was a bit artificial – I thought if I did something to make the hair feel more deliberate I might like it more. And I did, because I love auburn (Mom’s senior picture is beautiful that shade!). But I’ve told you anyway, and I still so appreciate the gracious compliment and ANY comparison to Anne.

  7. Bec

    Ok, so I just purchased this from iTunes… you should get commission!! :-) What a beautiful song!

  8. Judy Harvey

    I am not a bit disappointed that your hair color is enhanced. So is mine!!!

  9. Nice N Easy #116 for me!

    That line from pretty women has always been one of my favorites. I think most of us could have been a great many things…and most of us are.

  10. Serenity

    Beautifully put, Valerie. And I’m feeling much better about the hair. :)

  11. Serenity

    Bec, I’m glad you liked it since I talked you into it!

  12. Carol York

    I love everything you said. And your hair.

  13. Serenity

    Thank you, Carol.