Stay, Stay, Stay: The Day After The School Shooting
By algorithmic happenstance, today I came across "Stay" by Matt Rollings, featuring Allison Krauss and Vince Gill. It was originally recorded by Alisan Porter in 2016.
This recording with Krauss' angelic voice caught my attention, and so I didn't skip through it. As I listened, I was struck by the beauty of the chords and of course by Krauss' abundant soul gushing out of every syllable.
I realized I was feeling the new-to-me song a lot stronger than I would have expected when it finally dawned on me that this song is about a mother speaking to her children. What was apparently on my mind as I listened to the sweet lyrics was the mothers and fathers of the children murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas yesterday.
I am yours and you are mine
Bound together from the start
I will carry you until it's time to go
And I'll always be the home
You come back to in your heart
Oh stay, stay, stay
What must it feel like, I keep wondering, to never hold your child again, to know their tender tiny body has been torn apart by a stranger for no reason whatsoever, to know that their final moments in life were of terror and pain. To know they're not coming home from school today. To know they are not coming home at all.
While I feel anguish and rage and helplessness for the loss of those children and teachers, the truth is that my own life is whole at this moment: my own wife and children are safe and happy, and I am sitting around the house reading and listening to music. While I do this, the families of these dead are planning how to receive their corpses. The families of these dead must now bear a hideous and hollow pain for the rest of their days. The families of these dead are cut off from their own lives, their entire existence now defined in a before time and an after time.
I don't have a point to this post, except to share the sorrow we all feel and to wonder at how fluid are our feelings, that the power of music arises not from itself but from our humanity, that human life and death are so often entangled with sin and injustice.
Oh stay, stay, stay, we cry loud enough for heaven itself to hear, and yet the bullets fly.