How I’m Feeling

One beautiful night last summer, after a Taking Me Back rehearsal at Oxide, I was driving home with the windows rolled down and the music really loud, and I got this overwhelming feeling of contentment. Just a simple happiness that I didn’t want to end. A good thing accomplished, perfect weather, stars, music, good things laid out in front of me, everything’s okay, everyone is safe, everything is taken care of, bills all paid, check marks beside the to-do list, clean clothes in the closet, food in the frig, new songs floating above, only a shower away from catching.  I love that feeling.

Sara Quah- How I’m Feeling (pre-order the album here)

Like driving with the widows open on a clear night in June
With the music so loud that the cells inside me fill out
That’s how I’m feeling right now

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh

Like being alone and not looking back in the rear view mirror
Like seeing the moon on a landscape where nothing else will move but me
That’s how I’m feeling right now

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh

And I don’t even need to go too fast
I get a close up view of the fields I pass
Moving particles I part my sea

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh

That’s how I’m feeling right now
That’s how I’m feeling right now
That’s how I’m feeling right now

I pretty much wrote the verses in my head while driving. I wanted no extra; I just wanted to capture that candid moment and the urge I felt to hold it. Like a sustain pedal on a piano. Holding a guitar out in front of you with the chords held down, coaxing the sound out of the hollow into a wavy vibrato. Drive past the turn off to home and just keep going. How easily and how quickly we can arrive in a new reality. All it takes is money and time. Words are not even necessary to express that simple fact. Just movement.


Sometimes I like to ponder the butterfly effect and follow the sequence of events until all the breadcrumbs are eaten. A decision and a change in direction. A deep sigh and the oxygen atoms are scrambled. A delay and an unforeseen meeting fixed. A glance and an idea formed. A mood and a kindness granted. I teach my students to follow these trails in books. What was the moment the new thing began? But it is more difficult to trace in real life as the intersecting, breathing web is ever-changing and everlasting.  I picture the molecules of air and dust and pollen and insects filling the stillness where I see nothing until I see everything.  My windshield slices and sweeps them apart, reshuffles the order unpredictably, randomly. A different seed falls. A new particle meets a new match. A new assortment of possibilities buzzing and glowing in the air. Noisy and full of potential.

It is so complicated that it becomes simple. So overwhelmingly detailed that no control can be exerted with hope of a determined outcome. In that simplicity is a kind of joy and relief. A realization that the beauty and circumstance is so intricately woven, so beautifully interconnected, that our meager attempts at influence are laughable. Simultaneously though, consider the unfathomable power we hold in each breath. The unwitting yet consuming potency of each bite, each glance, each word, each thought, each action. We are at once just a small thing floating and a seed germinating and a hand then harvesting and a beast then eating in a field.  Made forever and ever over and over by our nothing and everything.

Most of the time we operate in ignorance of that myriad universe, micro and macroscopic. Seconds instead spent moving from room to room without preponderance of consequence. Minutes engaged in staring and sleeping and blinking without seeing or dreaming. Here we delight in our existence. Here we magnify that which is ours to be. Here we are.

But that other world calls to us when we are alone. When the air is perfect and the buzzing world reminds us of our own smallness.  Those glowing flowers in the woods long for your side-long step.  You will breathe in the goodness of new things and breathe out the particles of yesterday in that new place. The tree slowly returning to the forest floor is asking for your moment. You will leave behind some essence of you on it. And it will give to you some magic of its dying ember. Your head tipped back and your eyes uplifted will witness the green canopy, slightly shifting in the breeze. Your ears delight in the soft song of some invisible insect. You will change it forever too as your love of all that is green will green the world anew. The birds will accept your little sounds and sing anyway. You will know what secret song they sing when you are gone. Your swimming body will scramble the atoms around you. They will rise and resettle, rise and resettle as you reach and pull with your arms through the world, as you push and step with your legs through the world. And everything that you think you control will baffle you in cognition, and everything that you bring about will delight you in fruition.


Read the other posts in my Taking Me Back Series:

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



What I Heard



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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