Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Life is a prayer in the gospel of Tree Bark..."

I kept going back to this song this past month. The Gospel of Tree Bark, by singer, songwriter, and cellist, Anna Fritz (who is based in the beautiful Portland, Oregon)--what does that title and line of the song even mean? It sounds like a passionate environmentalist slogan mixed with a tacky religious greeting card. And the weirdness of the music video doesn't help. But somehow the song enchants you.

The song is strange, mystical, almost childlike. The music video includes odd masks, a forest, and a really long string of bright red yarn. When I listen to the song, however, is resonates with me. It captures a feeling of loss. The sadness, the confusion, the helplessness. The desire to just blindly walk with no idea where you are going. The sense that something is off in the world--something is out of place, upside-down, disturbing. 

The song is creepy and unsettling while also being uplifting and hopeful. With the creepiness, sad, and disturbing feeling in the song, there is also a fairy-tale quality. You become focused on the surreal women in masks. You are engrossed with the red yarn and where it is leading the woman. Where is it taking her. You witness a transformation from a woman following yarn to into a fairy-tale creature playing the cello in a forest. And then at the end she is being led again, the yarn tugging her finger, perhaps implying it is not where the yarn leads you that matters. The yarn doesn't lead anywhere. It eventually just ends. But it is about the journey of following the yarn. That's what the "gospel of Tree Bark" means. 

It is about what you do, where you go, when the yarn runs out: "Life has gone on and will go one forever, and you're just a droplet, a small bean of light... " Realize that, and still go on. Realize you are no longer lead, and lead yourself. Realize you are lost in the woods, and dance. 

"Life is a prayer in the gospel of Tree Bark," so pray, live--and see what happens. 

1 comment:

  1. Aliera,

    This line is fantastic: "It sounds like a passionate environmentalist slogan mixed with a tacky religious greeting card." I giggled while I was reading. I totally understand though - as I read the final line of the paragraph - "But somehow the song enchants you." I have often felt this way listening to music. Isn't it incredible the power it can have over you?