Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grieving for Girlyman

I don't think it ever occurred to me that I could grieve for something other than a person.

As I've now written here many times, I saw Girlyman for the first time the night before my first day of high school. I remember not really wanting to go to the Indigo Girls (Girlyman was opening) concert because it was the idea of an aunt I don't like very much and I was so nervous to start school the next day. I feel in love with Nate's song about his grandmother, and only in writing this have I come to realize that that is largely because is many ways "Reva Thereafter" reminds me a lot of my own grandmother. I don't know that there are many musical groups that an 80-year-old woman, 50-year-old woman, and 20-year-old woman can consistently enjoy together, but we managed it. Girlyman has always been a bit of family affair for us.

I spent high school surviving on the power they gave me. I screamed songs at people that had hurt me as I sung along, we would have rousing choruses in the car, and it helped me to articulate love.

Several months ago, Girlyman announced that they would be taking a hiatus from touring and writing as a group to work on themselves and other projects. I was annoyed, but fine.

Yesterday, Girlyman announced that they were permanently breaking up and I find myself profoundly angry.

Who gives these four people the right to take away one of my greatest joys over the last four years, second only to my job and my amazing relationship. I can't even listen to old music now because it is too painful a reminder of something I will never get to have again. I never get to sit in an audience next to my two best friends in the world and just lose myself in the magic and the moment and the ability to feel.

Perhaps it's because I have always found it rather hard to express or validate my emotions, even to myself, and Girlyman was a space in which I could do that. They kept saying everything I wanted to but hadn't figured out how to yet.

"It's not quite gone, but it's not around. Must be somewhere different now."

Except it isn't. You made it gone. And I don't how or if I will ever get past that. And so now I am stuck grieving a thing I didn't know I could lose. And I don't think a new star is growing out of this supernova.

"Gone the supernova's over, burned out. Everywhere I look for it I strike out."

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