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On Your Way

Be. Become.

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
7
The cover for this single is an old picture I found of my youngest daughter and I at the grocery store. I want to say she was three or four? In any event, she's still a great help wherever he goes!

“Maybe it’s because it’s the only thing I have left to feel good about,” she said, and I understood immediately what she meant, but I didn’t respond because I didn’t know what to say. But I knew from the start it would break my heart one day.

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I knew from the start

It would break my heart one day,

But I’ve no regrets,

I’ll say it loud:

I’m so proud

That you are on your way…

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Will you be—become—the one that got away

To escape the pain of our broken yesterday?

Be. Become.

Escape the pain.

***** * *****

Those who know me will be shocked to learn there was ever a time I didn’t know what to say; and in that spirit, here’s a lengthy and likely needless commentary:

This song is about many things.

The blurb at the beginning was a last-minute stream-of-consciousness write-in, but it refers to many situations where I encountered a chasm between myself and another which I either could or would not bridge. Some version of this one-sided conversation has occurred countless times, and not just in my life, I’m sure.

Before the end, I suspect we all experience, at least once, if not many times, that bitter moment when all related parties just know the difference is irreconcilable. Those last awkward steps away from each other, perhaps lingering a bit, repulsed like uncomplimentary magnetic fields—repulsed but still pushing into one another, trying to solve the mystery of just why or how the energy changed and became incompatible.

The egos involved didn’t seem to have a choice. Things change. When life strips away our opportunity or our interest it leaves us incapable of pursuing either.

So, first and foremost, it’s a song about heartbreak. First because we knew from the start. Foremost because we would do it all over again, anyway. We’ve no regrets.

But second, and more importantly, this is a song about my kids. And your kids. Or, whether you have kids or not, the fact that you used to be a kid.

None of us are perfect. We learn as we go. Some of us never learn. (You, for instance, are still reading this! Thank you!)

But even if we just sit on our ass and let the world move beneath us, we’re on our way. Nothing can stop us.

We’re a complex that will be resolved, a thread of fate that will spool out, a story that will tell itself, a person that will live and die, and I think the fundamental choice for us is between being an automaton or becoming an autonomous individual.

Have we done enough to encourage our children’s autonomy? The difficult task is protecting them from harm so they can realize how to protect themselves. How often we harm each other in an effort to protect each other is a complex conundrum which weighs heavily upon me.

How do we let go of that which we swore to protect? Knowing what we must know about the world, reflecting on the end of our own innocence, some part of us must have known from the beginning the heartbreaking moment would come when we’d have to let innocence wander away and hope we taught it well.

That’s the harsh reality, and yet this song has the audacity to hope in the face of that abrasive fact. If the guy who wouldn’t shut up finally found himself in a situation where he didn’t know what to say, anything is possible!

Lastly, I want to touch on grief. Many of my loved ones passed on. They too are on their way. Whatever that means to you, as regards your loved ones, dear reader, I’ll leave it to you to decide.

That love remains, of this and this alone I’ve no doubt.

So as I reflect on all these heartbreaking moments, I can now admit what my silence in the face of rejection, abandonment, loss, and the natural entropy of life really signifies:

No matter the solution to the mystery of the shifting magnetic fields, knowing as I must that this heartbreak was implicit from the very moment I encountered you, whoever you are, I’ll say it loud:

I’m so proud that you are on your way.

***** * *****

Thank you for reading and listening! My music, including this single, can be found on your streaming service of choice! Add me to your playlist!

More musical madness:

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About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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Comments (4)

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  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    I always think that, with my kids - I have elected to take a journey in which I have to gradually let go of the most precious thing I have ever had in my life.

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    Engagement always means the chance of hurt, whether that's relationships, having kids, losing loved ones or even just putting your music or writing out there. If you can deal with knowing that's the case, then I think that that acknowledgement goes some way to removing the sting, blunting the sword, providing a balm - whatever metaphor you want to use. I really enjoyed reading this. Made me think.

  • Letting go, rejection, loss and abandonment, I don't deal well with these things. I know it's part of life but I still struggle to accept it. But I'm trying to. I loved your song!

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    This is a perfect oscillation between heartbreak and optimism. I like how it can mean different things to different people, yet is universal at the same time 😁

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