Song Profiles

Song title: The Breathing
From the album: To the Bone
Requested by: Elwood

Here's a song where I use the phrase "ugly girl" (referring to myself), and the term "wallpaper" (again, referring to myself). What was I thinking?

According to my original notes, I wrote The Breathing in one sitting. May 15, 2002. I almost never complete a song in one day. For example, two days ago I finished a song that I begun in 2003. Each song arrives in its own time, you see.

But at the end of any recording process, I always survey the collection of songs I've acquired. Often, after sitting with songs for a while, they lose their luster and I can't imagine what I was thinking when I let a particular piece into the party. This must have happened with some long-forgotten tune, because writing this song in the middle of May indicates a last minute addition to the album, which was finished in June.

Originally titled "I Am Not Afraid", The Breathing was a rant about my desire to become strong, independent, and fearless...deeply envying people who don't even have to question this in themselves. That's what I mean when I say, "You never had to question the breathing". For some, this power is natural. And for me, well, people are surprised if I so much as hint that I intend to call on my strength. "Really? You? You're going to stand up? Is that really wise? After all, Muffin, you might topple, you poor thing, you." And it's this very attitude that makes me hate it when people think I'm sweet. I'm not fragile. I'm just struggling with having a different temperament than other people. The world isn't really built for overly sensitive introverts like me. So, we have to adjust, re-define, and figure it out along a bumpy road. It's about determining our shape in relation to the rest of the world, as opposed to feeling defeated that we'll never fit at all.

Through music, I'm enjoying a journey of figuring out who I am...not just as an artist, but as a human being. And songs like this reveal just how much triumph lies in the struggle. I hope.

February 2006