Wednesday, October 26, 2011


There is this song on the new Sara Groves album that has been sticking with me lately. When I first heard it I had to pause and think for a moment if I was really getting what the lyrics meant. I'm still not sure I am able to judge Sara's original intention in the song but there are few parts of it that speak directly to where I am at right now and at other times of my life. 

The song is called, "Obsolete", and the word itself taps into some of my worries/insecurities. But it also reminds me to be hopeful, that no matter what I'm not irrelevant to the one who created and loved me first. 

Sara Groves

It’s hard to feel obsolete
It’s hard to feel your skirts are showing
You pull and tug to hide the works
That keep the whole thing going

And you don’t know where you stand
And you feel so small and thin
And if you are dismissed
Will another take you in?

Walking through a hall of doors
Looking through a million portals
Everyone is having fun
Everybody seems immortal

And you don’t know where you stand
And did something pass you by?
And if you are dismissed
Will you get another try?

Are you and I an apparition
Flickering up on the screen
Sending out our best transmissions
Waiting in our velveteen
Tell me you can really see me

It’s hard to feel disqualified
For living in a different time
As if the train will only stop
For the current paradigm

And I don’t know where we are
Are we passing through these wires
Are we waling through the streets
Of invisible empires

And I know I shouldn’t care
If I’m out or if I’m in
Cause if I am dismissed
Oh you always take me in

Sometimes I feel as though I'm not quite on the track that most of my peers are (this tends to be related to professional life and my geographic location). Like somewhere along the line I stepped off and made a choice to go a different direction and as a result I'm not sure I'm always relevant to them. I don't mean to say that I'm some special in some unique way, there are plenty of people who choose to live differently from the mainstream. Some people differentiate themselves by choosing to be unique in their food choices or their religious views or even their parenting practices. Certainly many of us are seeking to craft a special niche for ourselves in the world. 

In many ways I'm pretty typical, young (for a while a least!), educated, heterosexual, privileged in a variety of ways (racially and economically come to mind), connected to my family and a mother (though relatively new to this one).  I think that despite these "typical" characteristics there are other things going on below the surface. Most of us have more going on internally than we care to admit to others. Being a psychologist has taught me many things but perhaps the most common lesson is that people long to be loved by others, truly and deeply loved. Not just accepted for who they are (though we tend to appreciate that as well) but really valued, cherished and loved. I have also come to the realization more and more that many people do not feel that way. 

So perhaps this song hits me for myself and others. For myself it reminds me that when I feel forgotten, brushed over and just generally dismissed in some part of my life, that's not the end of the story because there is someone who will always take me in. For others it reminds me to continue to encourage finding that human connection and that pursuing true connection and love is worthwhile. 

So that was a bit random but for some reason when this song comes on for me I have to stop and reflect on what it means for me and those around me. 

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