It is an absolutely GORGEOUS spring day. Our first truly warm sunny day. The sun is bright and warm.  The sky is completely clear.  The birds are celebrating in the trees in my backyard, giddy with joy and anticipation.  I can hear the rhythmic sounds of the breeze in the trees alternating with the different bird calls. They say the air is new.  For it contains a lightness, the slightest coolness, which does not detract from the warmth but just smells fresh.  It makes me want to take a walk with my dog and ignore all that I must do.  It makes me want to hang my porch swing and sweep and open all the windows and let music from the turntable leak out of the house.  It makes me want to smell lemon pledge and windex and see the tops of tables and throw out the greenery still in the pots from Christmas and buy pansies so that at the end of the day all is renewed and simplified.

That simple day is not my reality.  My reality, what I have chosen and what I am working toward, is a much more demanding and grueling and sometime fruitless line up of tasks intermingling the vastly different aspects of my life and commitments. I hurry and I apologize and I create and decide things and sometimes I stall and forget.  This is all in order that I may move in the direction that goes against the current of life.  I am moving against it, persistently.  Doggedly.  I am not complaining.  I am stating a fact.

Deciding to go in the opposite direction as everyone else and actually going in the opposite direction of everyone else are two very different things.  There’s only so much of me to go around.  My essence and physical capabilities are finite. The more details and tasks I add to my life the less of me is doled out to each one.  My house is a wreck.  I am behind on everything.  I need to make a birthday cake. Emails are unanswered.  My campaign is stalling.  I haven’t made appointments that I must make.  People all over can’t do the next thing I have asked them to do because I haven’t sent them the files.  My dropbox is full, and I’m going to have to pay for more storage.  The consequences are piling up.  Reckoning day is coming.  I have let people down who are counting on me.  Major decisions are required of me now, but first I must shower.  People are right now waiting on me but first I have to write this blog post and do a load of laundry. I’m going to visit my family, we leave in a few hours, and I haven’t a clean pair of underwear or jeans to pack.  I considered buying new ones, but we are also broke which is also my fault.  I am not complaining. Don’t feel sorry for me.  I chose this.

Tuesday is my teaching day and this week a mom came in with her brood of adorables and confessed no work was done this week.  Backpacks were still in the van from the week before.  Moving from one house to another.  Furniture in one place.  Clothes in another. Food in neither.  The kids had stale tortilla chips and donuts for breakfast.  The baby was still in her jammies, with chocolate donut all over her little face, “I so sticky, Mommy.” Ten must-do tasks ahead on the list for her day.  With a toddler. This story made me laugh out loud. This is the pitch of real life.  The way it is.  Frenetic.  And we are conditioned to think that is bad. Because it doesn’t feel good, and it outpaces our abilities to consider and weigh and enjoy.

But here is my revolutionary contribution to the debate.  I think this is what it takes. This kind of activity, this kind of pace, and work and dedication and persistence and excellence and self-denial is what it takes to make a real and lasting change to your life. To move from one place to another.  To make a real and ridiculous idea come to fruition.  Why are you working so hard?  Why don’t you slow down and enjoy yourself for just a minute? Why can’t you stop and smell the roses?  Well, I can stop and smell the roses, but just for a minute, and then I need to get back to work.  I need to make happen what I want to happen and I need to take responsibility for the future I want to exist.  I need to keep going so that all I have done so far will not be a waste.  I chose this.  I choose it again.

I wrote the song Physics, first song on side b on the vinyl and maybe my favorite song on the album, in an attitude such as this.  Working as fast and as hard as I can. Stopping to take my kid somewhere or shower or eat occasionally.  Forgetting to do things and disappointing people and missing deadlines.  But also making a discernible change in my way of life.  Chipping away at it.

Guess I’m breaking my bridges and
Burning my bread
You’ll have to find someone
To talk to instead
I’m spinning so fast
That I’ve misplaced my time
It’s used up and faceless and
Waving goodbye

Gones be bygones
With a fidgeting gaze
Late for appointments
I started that way
Heartbeat accelerates
As I drive across town
I wait in the turn lane
Overcome by the sound

Of the drumbeat inside of me,
Pounding it out
On the steering wheel vinyl,
Frame jarring loud
Somewhere an insight,
An intricate arrow,
Designed just to point right
The way straight and narrow

I find a place on the wall
As I wind up to turn
Fix my eyes on the spot
And whip around sure
Straight as the arrow
That’s notched in the bow
I slice through the air,
Chin tucked toward the goal.

But what if I’m not in the air?
What if I’m deep under water?
What if I’ve turned
And pushed off the wall?
What if I’ve used up
The physics of it all?
What if I’m not in the air?

The lyrics are determined but my fear is addressed in the last part, the chorus.  Busy as I am,  I am determined to make it a go and not lose anything or anyone of importance along the way.  I refuse it.  I will only accept gains.  I will go back and fetch any I have dropped.  I will apologize and gather them up and hold on tighter.

What if though I am physically unable to keep going?  What if I push off the wall, a big breath and a prepared stance, I place my foot and lower my hands and visualize it all before I run, but what if I run out of momentum?  What if I do everything I can, do my absolute best, but it is not good enough?  That is fear. That is real.

Physics keeps going.  The song is long and laid back and keeps going and Trefan’s guitar solo takes it time and fills up the mid-tones luxuriously.  The harmonies are thick and low and Tony built my voice into chords like a Sara piano.  This is the success I am banking on. That I will not run out.  I will have enough of what it takes.  That my gamble, my investment will not fail.  That people will want what I have made and take it in and ask for more.  And like Dale’s low E on the bass, that physical foundation will sustain long, long after you think it’s over.  Long enough.  Long enough.

Sara Quah- Physics

Buy it all here for $10!

Read the other posts in my Taking Me Back Series:

For You, Dear: Pre-Order Taking Me Back on Pledge Music


What I Heard


How I’m Feeling


A Little Bit

Take Me Away

20 Steps

Published by

Sara Quah

Writer, singer, songwriter. Find me @SaraBQuah. Listen to my music at

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