Audio Recording, bittersweet, Songs

Song: “Speed of Life”

“Speed of Life”

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Behind the Song

I liked the phrase “Travelling at the speed of life,” riffing off “speed of light.” No doubt others have used this phrase, but it popped into my head one day.

Pretty soon I wanted to express the idea of mindfullness, of being present. And how hard that can be: regrets for the past, worries for the future.

I struggled to make it work until I chose a scene for the song: someone driving a car. The driver “can’t speed up, and oh, no, I can’t slow down.”

I included this song on my “Hexaflex EP” which features six songs, each describing a skill or “pivot” of Acceptantance and Committment Therapy (ACT). Today’s song expresses the “Presence” pivot.

I snuck in one of the techniques of Presence in the bridge of this song. Sometimes called “Grounding,” it’s where you notice the world around you with each of your senses.

The narrator “arcs” in the songs, or transforms: from caught in regrets/worries in the first two verses to noticing the world around him in the last.

Does that work for you? Or does it seem too contrived? Let me know in the comments below.

About 60%

Lyrics

How did I get to this place?
What wrong turn brought me here?
What kind of fool must I be?
Only a loser cannot steer.

What dark roads lie ahead?
What new terrors must I face?
I don't think I can survive
an even worse place.

Well I can't see straight
if I don't look around
you know I can't speed up
and oh no I can't slow down

This is the speed of life
this is the unending now
this is my chance to believe
I can make it somehow

I almost missed that last curve
I almost hit that passing car
I'm too busy looking at the map
to see where we are.

There's a road sign blinking up ahead
but the flashing light is too strong.
You take the wheel while I close my eyes
figure out where it all went wrong.

Well I can't see straight
if I don't look around
you know I can't speed up
and oh no I can't slow down

This is the speed of life
this is the unending now
this is my chance to believe
I can make it somehow

I see a hazy mountain
I hear a passing train
I feel my sweating palms
I smell concrete wet with rain
I taste my mid-day meal
I feel this small snug space
Here I am, forever,
anchored to my place

You know we're moving kind of fast
I don't think it hit me before.
Has the outdoors always looked like this, brand-new, sun-kissed?
Like some kind of great big garden store.

The road is rough and torn
it's jerking me from my seat.
But even with all this up and down, bouncing around
I see the sign to our street.

Well I can't see straight
if I don't look around
you know I can't speed up
and oh no I can't slow down

This is the speed of life
this is the unending now
this is my chance to believe
I can make it somehow

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