Back in my younger years, I attended an arts school for 'advanced' children. In addition to readin', writin', and 'rithmatic, we studied art history (the Renaissance was my fave period), drama (I played a MEAN Nick Bottom in our 5th grade rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream), orchestra (I held down the violin), vocal, and dance classes. Why am I sharing this? To give a little background to a weird fetish I have - when I find a song I like, I listen to it repeatedly. I study it like a textbook. I play it for days, I memorize the lyrics, the melody, the harmony, the adlibs, the bassline, the chord progression, everything. I used to teach myself songs on my violin, and since I hated singing in public, would study vocals when I was home alone. I'm actually in the midst of doing that with a song right now: Nas' "Cherry Wine" has been playing for a few hours at ignorant decibel levels, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.


The late Amy Winehouse's chorus has me hooked:

Where is he? The man who is just like me

I heard he was hidin' somewhere I can't see

Where is he? The man who is just like me

I heard he was hidin' somewhere I can't see

And I'm alone, and I realize that when I get home

I wanna go through my red and my cherry

Yes, I'm alone, and I realize that when I get home

I wanna go through my red and my cherry

I actually played that hook about 3 times just now and sang it into my glass of Riesling. I didn't have red or cherry, Amy. Sorry.

Anyways - the point of this post is not to dissect the musical composition of the track, but to discuss something that I've been struggling with that Amy mentions in the first 2 lines of the chorus. What happens when you're looking for something, waiting for something, hoping for something - and you can't see where it is or when it's coming to you? What happens when your only option is to be patient and have faith? What happens when you get tired of flexing your faith muscles and you just want to rest on something tangible? Or conversely, you wish and hope and pray for a result, but the one you get makes no damn sense? Somebody help me out, because I don't understand.

The past 10 months have been filled with obstacles that I can only conclude have been set up in order to give me the strength of Wonder Woman + Goddess Isis + Michelle Obama combined. If you're a personal FB friend, you may remember a status update (and subsequent discussion) I posted a couple of months ago, discussing faith and the difficulties I was having with it. Through recent times, my faith has been tested in the good days, and pretty much decimated in the bad. My cousin passed away when I was SO SURE he'd make it.  I had my own cancer scare when I was in the middle of one of the most anticipated times of my life. I've been toiling through other things with the steady reminder that my breakthrough is coming - and while glimmers of the lights of good things spark through, I'm waiting for the blinds to be pulled back so I can just be bathed in the blessings. Is that too much to ask for?

I've memorized the phrases usually said when one attempts to understand the unknown. "God has bigger plans for you than you can plan for yourself." "Your cousin is in a better place." "It obviously wasn't the right time for you to have a baby - that's why things played out the way they did." "Trust me - your situation could have been so much worse. Be glad it's not." I hear them all the time, but I think I have yet for them to sink in until I can be at peace with them. I stay eternally grateful for what I do have in life, but the desire to make the most out of this ride leaves me wanting more. Sometimes I try to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I'm not praying hard enough. I'm not sticking to the Law of Attraction enough. I'm missing a sign that's clear as day, right in front of my face. After I take myself through that mental self-flagellation, I end up throwing my hands up to the sky and yell "eff it". It's exhausting trying to keep up a faithful front when you're just wondering "when will this all make sense?" and "when will I see the tangible results of this work?" I know what you're thinking: this chick is so damn impatient and entitled. And maybe I am - but I swear I'm working on it.

So, where does this leave me now? I'm practicing the virtue of patience. I know what I want, and I'm going for it. I'm doing the best I can at everything I do. I'm slowly (very slowly) coming to realize that there may never be a logical answer to some of the hardest questions I ask in the darkest moments. What I know for sure is that all the blood, sweat, tears, broken promises, and hard work will not be in vain. Like Nas says at the end of "Cherry Wine":

 Life is good, no matter what

Life is good.

It might not all make sense, but it'll all work out. Maybe that's what faith is all about?

 Have you struggled with maintaining faith, or making sense out of the unknown? Let me know how you deal, because I'm looking for the answer in the bottom of this wine glass, and I haven't found it yet...

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