I know today is Freaky Friday, but I’m not feeling very freaky right now.
Maybe I’m just tired, but I’ve been feeling a little melancholy the last couple of days. I don’t want to do anything. Yeah, I was pretty busy the whole week before Christmas, so my lack of motivation might be directly related to my natural tendency toward inertia (this is one body that likes to stay at rest). And I’ve not slept great the last couple of nights. But there’s also a sort of emotional pall that’s set in.
Maybe it wasn’t an emotional meltdown I was waiting for; maybe it was this. I don’t feel depressed, really, or any sadder than I’ve felt since May 12th. It’s a little like a haze where I just don’t feel much of anything. I’m not worried; I know I’ll shake it off pretty soon. Something will happen that gets me excited and happy. But in the meantime, I’m just sort of floating along.
I’ve posted this one before, but it fits my mood right now. I’m just feeling a little lost, I guess. There’s been so much going on since the spring that having not much to do is kind of weird. It’s giving me a little too much time to think.
As I sit here, doing just about everything I can to not think about the fact that today is Father’s Day (kind of like not thinking about pink elephants), a song came up on the computer from an album I downloaded a while ago. This is not what’s interesting about it. The reason the album exists is what’s interesting.
The Voice Project came about as a way to help victims of the horrific wars in Uganda and other northern African countries. Millions of people have been displaced, murdered, and tortured as a result of these wars. Millions of boys were kidnapped from their homes and villages and forced to commit atrocities in the name of this pointless violence. Some of these boys escaped from monsters like Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, but they were too afraid to return home because of what they had done. So their mothers and sisters, and other women from the war-ravaged villages, sing songs to let these lost boys know that they are forgiven. They sing songs to ask these boys to come home. They’re called “dwog paco” songs. The songs are broadcast on the radio, and apparently have brought many of these lost boys home. The Voice Project supports this effort. Their website has much more information, ways to donate, and videos of these amazing women singing their songs. There is so much that needs to be done there. These people need help with food, water, and medical care, but reuniting families is one more thing that needs to be done.
Home Recordings, Vol. 1 is a collection of songs recorded by artists both well-known (Peter Gabriel, Billy Bragg) and not. Garrison Starr is one of the not so well-known performers. The conceit of the album is that the songs are all essentially demos, songs recorded at home. A few of the tracks are actual dwog paco songs (one of them is even titled “Dwog Paco,” which means “come home.”) These songs are intimate, emotional, and marvelous. “Broken Headlights” was the song that came up on my computer today, and I was floored by how sad and hopeful it was. It was written by a fellow musician named Joey Ryan, but Starr owns this song. I tried to find a clip that kept the same kind of feeling from the album track, that raw acoustic sound.
The album sells for $11.99 on itunes. Proceeds go to The Voice Project. It is so totally worth it.