Jann Arden

I don’t know if that’s her full name, or even her real name. I don’t know where she was born or the details of her life and family. I don’t know anything about her interests, hobbies, passions or desires save for one thing – music.

She writes lyrics, and she writes music, and then she puts them together in ways that often make me feel like she has taken the words right out of my heart and made them public for the world to critique.

Many of her songs are sad, sad songs, and when I think about how much I relate to her music it makes me feel kind of sad for myself. But pulling myself out of that slump is easy – I can do it by listening to more of her music. It would seem counter intuitive, but I know that she gets it. The sadness in a broken heart. The desire to run. The madness in my head and all around. The waiting and long and begging and pleading and crying and forgiving.

And the music. Ahhhh…the music. All those minor cords and low notes. Acoustic, not electronic. Raw and real at the back of a smokey bar. They sing to me. The perfect chariot to carry her words.

I imagine that Jann and I would be great friends. We would be kind to each other while being self-deprecating. We would make fun of our families with our inhales and profess our undying love for them with our exhales. We would drink coffee in cafes and laugh and lament over loves we had and lost. And we would make music together. We would write lyrics and music and she would tell me that I’m a diamond in the rough and that she loves my art and she works with me so I can shine like she does.

A white diamond she is not. She is a deep, garnet red. Full of fire and passion, maybe looked over at first glance for something more obvious, but to those who take a moment to look just a little deeper, she is a rare gem indeed. She is tough and fearless and tender and giving. She is me, unafraid. She is me, with head up and heart open and willing to accept defeat to live her dream. She is the me I so want to be, and she can show me how. Just follow the music.