Both at the Same Time (2018)

by Shannon Curtis

supported by
Sven B. Schreiber
Sven B. Schreiber thumbnail
Sven B. Schreiber It's always a good idea to support Shannon Curtis on "Bandcamp Friday", because she's one of my big hopes for a bright future with fascinating music. Another highly valuable addition to my collection today, and some more to follow. Favorite track: Dear Little Girl.
/
1.
For a year, I held my breath What edifice would the bastards tear down next? Can’t hold your breath forever Not when the fight depends on every one of us We are fists raised and loud voices Street-marching feet We are arms locked, bodies braced For the war machines And we are open hands toward angry faces We are swirling dancers claiming spaces We wear steadfast smiles of subversive grace And we celebrate because we own this place These hateful thieves breathe our fear They’ll choke if we transform the atmosphere Look: the danger is persistent So we arm our hearts with joy to resist it We are fists raised and loud voices Street-marching feet We are arms locked, bodies braced For the war machines And we are open hands toward angry faces We are swirling dancers claiming spaces We wear steadfast smiles of subversive grace And we celebrate because we own this place Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Like we’ve already won Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance We’ve already won We are open hands toward angry faces We are swirling dancers claiming spaces We wear steadfast smiles of subversive grace And we celebrate We celebrate Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance Come, come with me let’s dance We've already won
2.
This is how we grieve This is how we love You mix water with the dirt, you grow shoots, you make mud This is where we grieve This is where we love From the same patch of earth springs flowers and the flood Flowers and the flood My heart’s a field, come walk it, you’re invited Your boots will sink, but feel the grass is high The soil is rich because for you I’ve cried The levees broke when you spoke like a stranger The sadness flowed and covered every acre And still I know I want you in my life This is how we grieve This is how we love You mix water with the dirt, you grow shoots, you make mud This is where we grieve This is where we love From the same patch of earth springs flowers and the flood Flowers and the flood My heart’s a field, come walk it, you’re invited Your boots will sink, but feel the grass is high The soil is rich because for you I’ve cried (This is how we grieve) My heart’s a field, come walk it, you’re invited Your boots will sink, but feel the grass is high The soil is rich because for you I’ve cried This is how we grieve This is how we love
3.
Hey baby, I see your path is rough You’re clearing out some brush What have you found? Unsteady feet question the earth Your eyes light up like sunbursts The world, the world is hard And the world is ours I see you’ve found yourself a place to stand Where the angle of the light makes things make more sense And it’s not a phrase that I really use, but All I can say is something like hallelujah This mystery, a love I did not know When I wore someone else’s clothes I lost, I found We’re dancing, me and the unknown My eyes alight with wonder The world, the world is hard And the world is ours My feet have found themselves a place to stand Where the angle of the light makes things make more sense And it’s not a phrase that I really use, but All I can say is something like hallelujah This vicious trail is lined with Layers I’ve shed as I’ve climbed it I see you over on your own mountain peak Looking down at the same beauty as me Hallelujah Hallelujah
4.
See this box on my kitchen table I see it there every morning, there every night It never opens, just sits there holding All that could go wrong and all that could go right All that could go right What else can I do but just walk on by? I’ll always never know what’s inside What else can I do but live my life? There’s always only this moment in time Every now and then I hear a voice saying “Stop what you’re doing and come over here Aren’t you curious, worried that in here sits Your greatest hope and your greatest fear? It’s all inside here.” What else can I do but just walk on by? I’ll always never know what’s inside What else can I do but live my life? There’s always only this moment in time There’s only ever this moment in time There’s always only this moment in time Just walk on by There’s always only this moment in time Just walk on by There’s only ever this moment in time Just walk on by There’s always only this moment in time
5.
I awoke in golden light Folded into my lover’s side And in the waking, I heard a voice say your name Like stone my heart sank The fields out my window are impossibly green And my eyes in deep blue rapture of this eternal canopy Tell me: how is it possible that you’re not here to see? How is it possible that you’re gone? These are the things taking my breath away: The sun rose today, and you did not Here we drive at highway speeds Chasing beauty, claiming dreams And in my throat, a brick of curses and tears For your stolen years The fields out my window are impossibly green And my eyes in deep blue rapture of this eternal canopy Tell me: how is it possible that you’re not here to see? How is it possible that you’re gone? These are the things taking my breath away: The sun rose today, and you did not Can I just sit here for a while, and let the silence take my mind Holding both at the same time The beauty and the pain The emptiness, the everything The beauty and the pain The emptiness, the everything The emptiness, the everything The beauty and the pain The beauty and the pain The beauty and the pain The beauty and the pain ...
6.
Coming Home 04:38
The truck pulls away from the life we made And with it all the roots out from the ground But how could we have stayed? We clearly heard our names carried on the wind over the sound Tears tumble from my eyes and fall on cheeks turned up in a smile It’s a hard goodbye and glad hello It’s reaching out and letting go Gaining a mountain in trade for the ocean Holding all we were and all we’ll be Looking behind and ahead to possibility We’re always leaving and finding And coming home Coming home The city recedes, along with a part of me Roaming the streets I love, a heartbroken ghost But there’s this open door, a dream we can’t ignore Adventure doesn’t wait, you just have to go Tears might dry up in the time it takes for you to drive over the state line It’s a hard goodbye and glad hello It’s reaching out and letting go Gaining a mountain in trade for the ocean Holding all we were and all we’ll be Looking behind and ahead to possibility We’re always leaving and finding And coming home We're coming home There is no coming without leaving And without making there’s no finding Some might say it’s all just dreaming What if there’s no such thing as arriving? If there’s no coming without leaving And without making there’s no finding I don’t care if it’s just dreaming With you I’m leaving and finding And coming home Coming home Coming home Coming home
7.
Would you believe me if I told you That a sunbeam tapped my shoulder? And she told me what my life would be She terrified me, and she set me free I’ve never been so scared in my whole life And I couldn’t believe my eyes It was so beautiful, beautiful I’ve never been so sure of what was right And though it left me trembling inside It was my beautiful, beautiful life Would you go with me on a reckless journey? Down this highway, we don’t know where it leads The wind propels us, tears make the pavement slick And there is always this unbelievable sunset I’ve never been so scared in my whole life And I can’t believe my eyes It’s just so beautiful, beautiful I’ve never been so sure of what is right And though it keeps me trembling inside This is my beautiful, beautiful life At the end of all this, will we know why? At the end of everything, will it matter if we got any of it right? All I know is this road has a voice And it’s calling me to make a choice I want this life, and I want you by my side I’ve never been so scared in my whole life And I can’t believe my eyes It’s just so beautiful, beautiful I’ve never been so sure of what is right And though it keeps me trembling inside This is my beautiful, beautiful life Beautiful, beautiful life It’s just so beautiful, beautiful
8.
Misfit Stars 03:40
I can show you all of the places I am broken Come trace the edges here Every crack and dangerous sliver Whispers a story when you’re up close to hear But take a step back, a little further I want to show you The bigger picture shines Like misfit stars in the night Look at them sparkle, all glued together I am a shattered and shimmering whole See this fracture? It comes from words that shouldn’t be spoken To any little girl And over here there’s a jagged splinter It’s self-inflicted Those always cut the worst But take a step back, a little further The edges catch light The bigger picture shines Like misfit stars in the night I have hard-earned every piece here I’ve paid in blood and I’ve paid with my soul I will not cover or hide in shame here These are my diamonds, my silver and gold All glued together, with love and glitter All put together, the bigger picture shines Like misfit stars in the night Look how they sparkle, all glued together I am a shattered and shimmering whole Look how they sparkle, all put together I am a shattered and shimmering whole
9.
When you look in the mirror Do you ever see me Like I see you, all the time When you wake from dreaming Do you ever miss me Like I miss you, all the time All the time There’s always a moment when I've picked up the phone To dial your number, voice broken And my breathing’s put on hold I know how this plays out I’ll hear a distant tone And I’ll leave my words for you When you watch your children Do you ever see us Like we were once, in another time When you cry for what was Do you ever miss the understanding Borne of sharing storylines Like I do all the time There’s always a moment when I question the sense In dialing your number, heart open And braced for the worst I call though it hurts What else is left to lose? And I’ll leave my words for you I’ll leave my words for you When you look in the mirror Do you ever see me Like I see you?
10.
Dear little girl With your little hands you colored such straight lines Attempts to hem the tangled chaos of the time we survived Little girl With your little voice you spoke from memory The stories you were told to help us sleep In a make-believe peace There’s a picture of you In the locket round my neck I’m moving on But I promise not to forget That you were there for me When I needed some certainty And you believed it, oh you believed it There’s this mystery, listen, it beckons me I’m moving on And I won’t forget I’ll wear you round my neck Dear little girl In your little fists you clutched the fading flowers Like our life depended on the faith they’d never go brown There’s a picture of you In the locket round my neck I’m moving on But I promise not to forget That you were there for me When I needed some certainty And you believed it, oh you believed it There’s this mystery, listen, it beckons me I’m moving on And I won’t forget You brought me this far And it’s no small miracle But for the next mile I need some new tools You got me this far And for that, I thank you Thank you There’s a picture of you In the locket round my neck I’m moving on (There's a picture of you) I’m moving on (There's a picture of you) And I won’t forget (I'm moving on) I’ll wear you round my neck (I'm moving on) I’ll wear you round my neck (I'm moving on) There's a picture of you

about

Have you ever had a Both at the Same Time experience?
Like this …

In one hand you hold one idea, or emotion, or truth,
and you know with your whole heart that it is solid, it is real, it is true …
and in your other hand,
you hold another idea, or emotion, or truth,
— which you also know with your whole heart to be solid, real, and true —
but which exists in exact opposition to the truth you hold in your first hand.

Like rejoicing in the rapturous beauty of the astonishing world in which we live;
while also gulping for air in unknown depths of grief over the loss of someone you love.

Like recognizing injustice in our world which must be relentlessly resisted and forcefully fought;
while also allowing an unbridled joy for life sustain you and lead the way.

Like observing how a person has figured out how to honorably make sense of the world for themselves;
while also — even if the belief or value system they’ve landed upon looks entirely different than your own — embracing the idea that you can wholeheartedly celebrate their discovery with them.

There they are.
In your hands.
Two things …

that you know are both true,
that may stand in direct contradiction to one another,
that will not ever be resolved to each other,
that you do not have the power to change,
and therefore which you will continue to hold,
Both at the same time.

Did you know, in that way, you are just like LIGHT?

For centuries, scientists agreed that light is emitted in the form of waves.
But then Isaac Newton came along and proposed that light is best described as a particle.
And the scientists freaked out, because in their understanding at the time,
waves are entirely different than particles, and particles cannot be waves.
But what if, as Albert Einstein suggested, light embodies a dual nature?
And, indeed, that is now what science accepts as true:

Light is both a particle AND a wave.
Both at the same time.

Here’s what I think about all of this
as it relates to our real, beautiful, messy, exhilarating, tedious, everyday lives:

I think that learning to hold opposing truths in tension
is a kind of spiritual practice …
that allows us to explore deeper understanding,
invites us to experience transcendence,
and nurtures progress in our lives and in our world.

And yeah. Tension is uncomfortable. Conflicting realities are difficult. Uncertainty can be distressing.
But this is where the light is.
This is where life is.
We can hold both at the same time.

credits

released June 15, 2018

written by Shannon Curtis
published by Shannon K (ASCAP)
produced by Jamie Hill
engineered & mixed by Jamie at The Department of Energy Management, Tacoma
arranged by Jamie and Shannon
recorded by Shannon and Jamie
additional production by Shannon

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Shannon Curtis Tacoma, Washington

"And Her Whisper Becomes a Storm," Shannon's eighth full-length studio album in eight years, was released on June 20, 2020.

Shannon lives in Tacoma, WA with her husband, producer / mixer Jamie Hill.

contact / help

Contact Shannon Curtis

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Shannon Curtis, you may also like: