the song was always my story.
I just didn’t realize it until yesterday.
how significant it would become.
how I would come to define tiny infinite moments by this soundtrack.
I wrote it for my senior year of high school.
the hardships, the lowest points, the moments that have come to define me and transform me.
the song encompasses more than most realize when they hear the song.
and now it has a new story attached to it.
/ / /
the inspiration for the song came this time last year. fresh into my senior year and full of potential and dreams for adventures, I started the song with my friends in mind. I imagined having this out-of-body, black-and-white experience once we graduated, where we were taking pictures and everything slows down and in one brief moment, we’re hugging and reliving the past year. this was what was circulating my mind:
and so they hugged, unbeknownst to their hopeful futures, but resting assured they’d have tales to tell when they met again.
in October, the song was born. what’s ironic is I didn’t actually record the song until the last week of school, days before graduation. which means for a whole year, the song sat idle.
(this intro sounds so trivial, but trust me, there is significance. keep reading – it’ll be worth it.)
I tried for literally months to record this song. I practiced recording in every different emotional state: neutral, angry, euphoric, depressed. nothing was clicking.
so I let it be.
I knew it would be written; I couldn’t not write this song.
so I waited.
the week before graduation came, and a specific incident with a friend, one where I was convinced we’d no longer be friends, caused me to go to the computer, hit record, and play out the song. as I started playing, the person’s face filled my mind. I was neither sad nor angry; I felt like I was accepting that this was how things may wind up being and I would be okay with it. suddenly, I transitioned to a different part, a new piece I’d never played before. I could just hear it in my mind – I knew what I needed to play. a different face filled my mind, the face of my best friend. the high notes contrasted with the low notes, signifying the ups and downs our friendship has experienced but how he has remained constant. the song transitioned again, to my larger group of friends, to a friend I no longer see, and to the graduation fantasy. the one where I felt like I was having an out of body experience.
the cool thing about this song is how it ends. the entire song is just piano, taken in one take.
at the very end, the piano begins to fade to a ghost-like piano, as if you are being “born back into the past.”
hence the title:
We Beat On Ceaselessly (Into the Past).
it’s based off the last quote in The Great Gatsby. the song represented exactly that: as we graduate, we are stepping into a new chapter and new adventures. we are beating on. relentlessly. passionately. hopefully. but as we do so, we are borne back into the past, as we are reminded of mistakes we wish we could undo and good moments we wish we could relive. we may beat on into the future, but we are constantly reminded of our past.
but we are hopeful of our futures.
and what was beautiful about this phrase was that this actually happened. I told very few people about this quote I’d “created in my mind” back in January, so when this moment on graduation day came, I had all the feels and then some.
/ / /
so. dearest November.
what does all of that have to do with 11.3.15.?
you just have no idea.
I made the decision to start following Christ, my decision, not forced into it or spoon-fed, on July 8, 2014. I chose to follow Christ because I wanted to. I hit senior year, and it literally destroyed that decision in my mind. by the time I graduated, I wasn’t who I was, and even though I had really good memories, I was completely annihilated by what had happened.
I would never be who I once was again.
and throughout that year, throughout this year, I was thinking about being rebaptized. I was baptized when I was in fifth grade, when I was scared into making a decision to “become a Christian” because I was afraid of going to hell. typical of fifth graders, but my relationship with God was on a foundation of fear. I think it took going through senior year to realize that there is something called grace and I have the full right to accept it. I don’t deserve it, but it’s been offered to me.
I started going to the Point three weeks ago. which is crazy, because I’ve been a part of this college group for such a short time and have already been on a fall retreat and been baptized. God’s doing freaking amazing things.
and I felt something in my heart stir, that it was finally time. I’d waited 11 months since January, over an entire year since July, to be baptized.
He whispered to me, “you’ve sat in your brokenness long enough. it’s time to stand up.”
and so, I was raised to walk.
raised to life.
as for the song?
Ceaselessly was played over my story.
how freaking awesome is that.
I know the guy who shot my video, and he asked me if I wanted to use one of my songs as background music. my response? “heck yes.”
I knew which song would fit perfectly for the video, only because it was all piano and that’s the format he was aiming for. but when I sent it, and he previewed the video for me a few days before last night, it hit me.
this. is. me.
every single part of the song highlights a different season of senior year, the most defining year of my life to date. and ironically, the song was 6:18 long, the video was 6:23. that wasn’t a coincidence.
I was in tears last night as the video started playing and I heard Ceaselessly over the speakers. it wasn’t that a crowd of 300+ was hearing my story and my song on top of it; it was that this song represents everything that’s happened since senior year and the summer, and how far I’ve come.
Ceaselessly shows how far I have come.
and now I am beating on, unbeknownst to my hopeful future, but resting assured there will be infinities lived and stories to tell.