Because I am (1) a dork and (2) a believer that Taylor Swift lyrics provide us with an ongoing AP poetry course and a soundtrack for all life's tragedies, I had been gearing up for my birthday weekend in upstate NY to follow the final verse of evermore. If you're not familiar, the title track to TS's surprise December drop is a duet with Bon Iver (exhile is the one on folklore, completely tragic from start to finish and I adore it) and switches right at the end. Throughout the song, she says that "this pain would be for evermore". But in the final line, she switches it to "this pain wouldn't be for evermore". A teeny light of hope at the end of a sad song.
The whole song makes me think of my own 2020. "Gray November / I've been down since July" -- my horrific day was in August but same timeframe. "I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone / Trying to find the one where I went wrong" - yep, constantly. "Hey December / Guess I'm feeling unmoored / Can't remember / What I used to fight for / I rewind the tape but all it does is pause / On the very moment all was lost / Sending signals / To be double crossed" - 100% and "sending signals to be double crossed" calls back to exhile when she and Bon Iver do a bit of a call and response completely missing each other's intention, much like in a fraught relationship going through communication issues. I'll stop dissecting the song line by line but you get my drift, I relate to it.
So when I told my husband that all I wanted for my birthday this year was to (1) not be in the city and (2) just be with him and Rex, I had a feeling we'd go upstate. We'd never been before and it was completely lovely. It's a tad ironic because growing up I lived in a teeny town and always wanted to visit and live in cities. Now I live in Brooklyn and going to the woods in a rural area (we had to drive 20 minutes to get to a grocery store - ALSO, as an aside, living in New York makes going to a large grocery store incredibly jarring. The carts are huge, there is just so much SPACE, and there are an insane amount of options for everything. My local store has like two options for bacon; this rural Stop & Shop had at least 20. But I digress.) provided just the rejuvenation we needed. The grass is always greener and all that. Once we booked what one from a city would call a cabin and one from a small town would call a house in the woods, I started having a little fantasy that this weekend away would be my turning point exactly like the last verse of evermore. "And I was catching my breath / Floors of a cabin creaking under my step / And I couldn't be sure / I had a feeling so peculiar / This pain wouldn't be for evermore". We walked in. The wood floors were uneven and creaky. Not a complaint but rather I felt like my destiny was manifesting in these creaky floors.
And while I can't say that everything is a-ok now, because my life is not a song, I do feel like a weekend in the woods was just what I needed. Do I still feel the pain? You bet. But I can say that I do have a feeling, and I'm starting to have more faith in it, that it won't be for evermore. It won't hurt this badly forever. I will continue to heal. I will be ok.