Friday, January 21, 2011

Letter to Mary Gauthier

Write a letter to a band or artist that has helped you through some tough days.

Dear Mary,

I remember seeing one of your first albums reviewed in the newspaper about 10 years ago. It mentioned that you were adopted and sang about it. I was intrigued because back then, I didn't know all that many adoptees who were willing to speak out openly about how they felt--especially if they felt pain. I bought Filth and Fire and loved the words of "Good-Bye." Your words helped me feel that I wasn't alone.

Last winter I saw you in Berkeley when you were touring to promote your new album, The Foundling. I wept and shook inside as your narrative unfolded. It was all too familiar. After the concert, we spoke for a few minutes. I told you about my recent search, reunion with my brother, and my my first mother's rejection of me. You hugged me and told me that I am not alone. We laughed about how we should have "Ungrateful Bastard" t-shirts. I was glad I went to the concert with a group of adoptee friends so that we could share the experience and talk about how powerful and affecting your words can be.

Then last summer, as I drove two hours across Indiana to visit the graves of some of my first family, I listened to The Foundling, over and over. I heard you sing to the infant you once were, left at the orphanage, crying for your mother. I heard you struggle with not belonging, with wanting to find the people whose blood ran through your veins, with talking with your mother who said hello and goodbye all at once, with coming to terms with a loss that will always be part of you. 

Your lyrics are difficult and cathartic. Sometimes they hit very hard and directly enough to be like blows on my heart. You are brilliant and brave for laying yourself bare. Thank you for sharing something so raw.

In admiration and solidarity,


Real Daughter said...

I remember when you guys introduced me to her music. I watched her website with anticipation for the date The Foundling was to be released.

The day it came out, I downloaded it...but it took me a few days to gather enough courage to listen to the entire album.

She rocked my world.

Unknown said...

Mary is a lovely person