My National Anthem

Hello, friend.

As you may be aware, I am a huge Florence and the Machine fanatic. From FATM’s songs I have derived the name of this very blog. In the hardest times and in the most joyous times of my life, she has been my anthem, my theme song, and at times, my only comfort. I started out on the magical journey of loving Florence’s music with my introduction to the Dog Days Are Over. For a year or so the song was my anthem. I believed that it reflected what I was going through.

My dog days were over, happiness hit me like a train on a track.

With the release of her second album, my anthem changed and so did my life, which may or may be independent factors of each other. My anthem changed to Shake it Out, the inspiration for this blog. Being done with my graceless heart, I decided to cut it out and then restart. It was then that I realized that past errors, mistakes, and failures only serve to weaken my heart and fade my smile. All that I had to do to restore my good faith in the world, my childlike hope, was to shake off the things that weighed me down.

Because it is hard to dance with the devil on my back, so I shake it out.

Here I am now, standing before the world, with no more battle wounds, but bright and shining scars, beautifully engraved, serving as a constant reminder of my strength against the evils of the world. My anthem is changing again. I am changing again. It is exciting to see myself now as compared to the days ago. The FATM listener that I was is no where as wonderful as the FATM listener I am now.

We both know that words are empty air.

But sometimes the weight of empty air can be so bulky that it weighs down our countenance, while other times the words that pour out of our own mouths or the mouths of others like a deluge of speech, are the source of our buoyancy. I find myself floating now, much easier and lighter than before. How remarkable it is to feel this way. How unjust it is to have not lived this way.

My national anthem now is Sweet Nothing.

But, not the techno, remixed version that is popular. I like the live performances of this song. I think that it is the perfect mixture of pain and new hope. I think it reflects where I am and where I have been. It transforms with each day, sometimes coming across as sad, sometimes as blessedly hopeful. I tend to think of it as the latter.

So, I will put my faith in something unknown.

Because it’s hard to hope with nothing to hold.

And it’s hard to learn and it’s hard to love.

But, you’re giving me such sweet nothing.


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