TUESDAY TUNES: Songs for Pauses
When the storm came, I had nowhere to run from it. So I stayed.
The rain had gone from romantic to stormy in seconds. One moment, it was a fine mist that felt, if not pleasant, at least gentle on my skin. The next moment, the mist had swirled into a wall of water that had me scooting back under the awning in defense. I was on summer vacation, in a remote quiet house on the shores of the Outer Banks, and I wanted to go for a walk, go to the beach, be outside in a swimsuit and not a sweatshirt. Instead it was raining and cold and entirely interrupting my plans.
I sat on the porch, blanket over my knees, sweatshirt hood drawn over my head. I had nowhere to be but here. That felt like freedom. So I wrote a little, and I watched the rain a lot, and I waited, with deep and contented breaths, for the storm to pass.
I don’t do that often. Usually if I find free time, I pack it; without a to-do list to check off, I feel antsy and unfulfilled. My twenties (or maybe just my personality) have built for me a long, linear landscape of go, go, go, of trying new things and learning new routines and figuring out how to fill the new blank stretches of after-work evenings. I’m not typically good at sitting in a storm and letting it storm. I want to help it pass me by; I want to speed it along; I want to take a picture of it or write a poem about it or tell a story about it.
When I’m moving at that speed, what I forget is how soothing the rain sounds from a porch chair. I forget the warmth of a blanket across my knees when it’s cold in July. I forget that I can stare out over the water, alone with my words and my thoughts, and feel not the least bit lonely or unfulfilled.
These songs are for finding more of those moments of pause—when the routine halts and all that remains are slow dances in the kitchen, mugs of tea, your fresh-made bed after a weekend of travel. For rainstorms passing, for long days within short years, when time for once isn’t moving too fast. For the spaces where frenzy stops, feelings find home, and we stop to take them in.
“River” // Leon Bridges
“Been traveling this road for so long,” and it’s this song that always makes me pull to the side of the road. Even listening on repeat, every time I hear it feels like the first; those easy gentle piano chords stop me in my tracks in the best way.
“Cool It Child” // Hazlett
The first time I heard this song, tucked away in my Spotify Discover, I felt as though it was speaking directly to me, precisely for me. It’s a dreamy, drifty track that sounds the way a deep breath feels.
“Down in the Valley” // the Head and the Heart
This track always reminds me of the best, most loving parts of college, and so it always sounds like the moment when I realize that I can turn off the navigation; I already know my way home.
“World Spins Madly On” // the Weepies
This may be my favorite song for reflection, carried from candlelit prayer rooms to crowded trains and everywhere in between. It creates all the space a frantic heart could need.
“Angels of the Get-Through” // Andrea Gibson
Sharing this song (poem, really) feels like sharing a secret, so listeners, handle with care. It has soothed my heart and made me stop to listen time and again. It’s the opposite of anxiety; it’s raw and real; it is my favorite.
Windrose Magazine is your guide to navigating life in your twenties through a collection of essays, interviews, and advice that will inspire you to chart your own life course, free of comparison.
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