Anything But Motionless in the Valley of Suck


I'm looking back a week ago. I was recovering from being in a mosh pit with my daughter at Atlanta's Tabernacle and seeing Motionless In White. What a difference a week makes. Sometimes the Valley of Suck is a slow slogging and forcing each step and then in moments, you are in the Millenium Falcon making the "Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs."

I was driving today in Hotlanta five o'clock traffic. Nothing on the radio did anything for me. I realized what I was missing was the loud, honest, gut-wrenching emotions I saw a week ago in a crowd of people who were mostly half my age. Yep, I started a Motionless In White radio station.  In fact, I'm listening to it as I write.

I...DO NOT...listen to music when I write...EVER. Yet, here I am.

Joke if you want about mid-life crisis experiences but I get it. They are real.

The Valley of Suck can make you question everything. It is like a cavernous expanse inside my soul. It is so dark. Every sound echoes off the walls and there is no light to provide clarity or reference. The voices of others provide little comfort. You are clawing and grasping.  You are listening intently but all you hear is your voice.

It is similar to what my friend Sally Wolfe wrote:

I have to be alone
to not be alone."

I have learned not to trust.
I have learned some friends aren't friends after all.
I have learned to play things close the vest.
I have learned to still reach out.
I have learned to find a spontaneity I had forgotten.
I have learned I better know my boundaries.
I have learned the hard way, words mean little.
I have learned that words mean everything.
I have learned the pain of triggers that dredge memories.
I have learned that darkness doesn't have to scare.
I have learned in time that grief becomes a loyal friend.
I have learned the skeletons in the closet must be faced.
I have learned I can't trust my heart.
I have learned to run after that heart even if it hurts in the end.
I have learned to dig deeper.
I have learned to accept the pain as a patron.
I have learned the rabbit trails ARE the trails.
I have learned the rabbit hole IS the hole.
I have learned to stop being afraid to rip open scars.
I have learned to listen to the Scriptures I have ignored for too long.

Like Ecclesiastes 1:1-3
The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
"Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,
   vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

I have learned to trust the whole Bible - the voices of the sinner-saints who have lived honestly in the midst of mess. They didn't have surety...they had questions.  They lived under assumptions which were often proven to be false.  They worshiped idols and then tried to obey God. They tried to have it both ways and learned from the messes made.

I have learned to be weary of promises of sure things. The Valley of Suck has made clear again and again and again...what I THOUGHT was sure was nothing but vanity.  Just when I think I have scraped the muck out of the way, more has been dumped into the valley.  I'm still not sure where the bottom is.

I totally get why my daughter loves this music. It is the same reasons so many have loved music beyond the edges of popular genres - they call it like it is...

     In the end, as you fade into the night (whoa!)
     Who will tell the story of your life? (Whoa!)
     And who will remember your last goodbye? (Whoa!)
    'Cause it's the end and I'm not afraid
     I'm not afraid to die.  (Black Veil Brides: "In The End")
I didn't realize these prophets have been pointing out lessons of truth camouflaged in lyrics and music we often ridicule as hard to hear. I still have much to learn but I have also learned so very much.  I still have miles to go in the valley of suck but I have also come so far.  And yet, I have found more hope. My soul; my heart; has been anything BUT motionless.  I am changing and while I am afraid of what may lie ahead, I have the courage to face what I may become.


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