“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.