Week #37: Among the Shadows

Years ago I worked with someone who brought a dark shadow with her into the office. We were abstractly aware that she was going through a difficult time at home but she never shared it with us and she appeared to be overcompensating by being overly cheerful at the office.

A casual conversation with co-workers in the breakroom led to learning about what others were facing in their life away from the office: an ill family member, a plumbing issue, a car in the shop, childcare issues. Whatever it was, people naturally had things on their mind other than work. Yet they came into work every day to get their job done, often without a mention of what was consuming their thoughts.

That’s what gave me the idea for this week’s song, “Among the Shadows,” which I wrote in 2016. We all have our own shadows and troubles following us around, yet for the most part try to avoid them in public. Life is filled with things that need to get done or fixed yet we also need to function in our daily lives and focus on getting work done. So with this realization, we just need to be kind and understanding to each other as we try to get through the day.

We live among the shadows, life illuminates behind
Each facing our own battles, with troubles on their mind
We greet each other with a smile, crossing paths throughout our day
Idle chit-chat in the lobby, pretending we’re OK

I thought I saw you crying though your tears were wiped away
We don’t see each other’s struggles as we go about our day
We live among the shadows, seeking solace where we can
Immersed in our memories, grieving unfulfilled plans

I thought I saw you crying but your smile hid it well
If you feel broken on the inside, on the outside I couldn’t tell
We live among the shadows yearning for a little light
Thirsty for a show of kindness, dreaming of a peaceful night

I thought I saw you crying though your tears were wiped away
You’re turning toward tomorrow as you try getting through today
I thought I saw you crying though your tears were wiped away
You’re turning toward tomorrow as you try getting through today.

As you can tell, there’s no real song structure to this song, as I wrote it before learning about song structure and there’s not a clear distinction between the verse and the chorus. It was actually the first song I brought to the Arizona Songwriting Associations’ Songs in Progress workshop and I only felt comfortable bringing this one because my husband played guitar on it. (Even now I don’t feel very confident about my guitar playing though since then I’ve brought plenty of songs where I strummed by way through as I learned they are a supportive bunch.)

1 Comment

  1. It’s so relevant to everyone especially on Facebook, you have to keep that in mind when you see everyone do all these wonderful things all the time, did they have their problems too but they don’t talk about them. So you kind of see half of everyone’s story but all of your own

    Liked by 1 person

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