You don’t know me. (Well, duh.) But for a very long time now I’ve been wanting to thank you, with all of my heart, for I believe quite literally saving my life.
When I was a young teenager my life was not exactly what you’d call ideal. I was lost, scared, angry, emotionally fractured . . . it just wasn’t good.
But two of your albums–The Good Book (above), and Stoneground Words:
became for me a way to not only find myself, but keep myself.
You sang what I felt. You externalized for me everything that until then I had assumed could only possibly exist within me.
And that is a miraculous healing, right there. If you are thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and pretty much all you’ve ever known is fear and alienation, you have no way of understanding that the apocalyptic emotional terrain that you’ve always inhabited is not actually, or in any final sense, exclusive to you.
You assume that it is. You assume that through some cruelly unfair roll of the dice you ended up alone on the dark side of the moon, that the pitch black morass into which you spend just about every moment of your life falling is your life, and only yours. And that is a huge part of that burden: You, alone, are out in space, where no one can hear you scream.
Well, you screamed for me. You gave my pain the only real voice–the only complete expression–that it had ever known.
And with open arms and breathless gratitude I fell into that, because I sure the fuck knew my salvation when I heard it.
And that’s what it was. You saved me. Every single day during that most difficult period of my life you sang to me what I desperately needed to hear in order to know that my own song–my own pain, my own fear, my own desolation–was every bit as real and true and perplexingly beautiful as I knew it ultimately somehow had to be.
Your music was the light that cut through the fog so that I could move forward. I might have made my way through without The Good Book and Stoneground Words, but I’m a long way from being certain of that.
But I did make it through–and then some, I daresay. I really made it. And I didn’t want to let another day go by without thanking you for that.
So, yeah. Thank you, Melanie Safka. Thank you for, you know: Everything. If you don’t know anything else in this world, know that you definitely saved one life.