May Erlewine just released her new album, "Tiny Beautiful Things", and to celebrate we asked the acclaimed artist to tell us about the song "Easy". Here is the story:
You often don't know a stigma exists until your existence crosses through it. I found myself in Massachusetts in the late winter coming to terms with the reality of being a divorced, single working mom. All around me, every day there were reminders that I was somehow "apart" from the normal, whole way of being. All around me there were false ideas being thrown like daggers. Ideas that said I was marred in the pulling apart of my marriage, that I couldn't be a devoted parent and also have a career. Suddenly I was also a threat to the normal way of being. I became a question mark for those who were wondering inside, "Is the normal way really the best way?" Sometimes people don't like questions.
I felt ostracized, not from any specific person or community but from a way of living. This all came to a head one night. I was staying as a guest in a big empty house with an old upright piano in a room cleared for dancing. I couldn't sleep, the fear that I would somehow never belong anywhere again was haunting my thoughts. This long dark night of the soul found me crying over a piano at the first light of dawn. The chorus came to me. It won't be easy, it won't be easy at all, it's never easy to take the fall. I sang it over and over, convincing myself that even in this devastation I had to own my choices. I had to accept the life I had now. I had to begin to live again.
I drove to Walden Pond and trudged around the whole thing through feet of snow, I must have walked around it at least four or five times, each lap carving more of a path for myself. I decided I would walk around this thoughtful place until I felt a shift in my heart. I needed to shift away from the pain and into acceptance. I needed to grow into change and allow my life to be different. I needed to allow a new sense of belonging to take place. I belonged to the truth, I belonged to myself and I also belonged to my mistakes. It won't be easy, it won't be easy at all...
Finally I felt my heart open. My feet were cold as I walked back to my car with a sense of tender hope and exhaustion. My legs were tired, my heart ached but there was also a sense of peace after that long walk with Thoreau. I drove in silence back to the big empty house and finished writing Easy. The words fell out of my mouth so simply. It was a confession, it was acceptance, and it was also a commitment to moving on. It's never easy to take the fall...
Even in these moments of great grief and loss, love is waiting for us. It might be in the heavy snow, or in a still reflection on the water. It might be in your tears, or in your mistakes. If you keep feeling, love will find you and it will fix you up and send you moving through life again, one step at a time. It won't be easy, but it will be your beautiful life and I believe it's worth it.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here