Ashes & Rags

Burn it to the ground.

I built a fire to burn down my house

it made such a pretty flame

the windows cracked

and the walls came tumbling down

I built a fire just to watch it burn

just to see something bright

and as the roof caved in

I felt my heart ignite

I can't hear you over the sound of my house burning down

I can't hear you over the sound of my house burning down

I built a fire to burn down my house 

it made such a pretty flame

the windows cracked

and the walls came tumbling down

I built a fire to burn down my house

I don't live there anymore

so if you're looking for me

you better look somewhere else

I learned about fire from my mother

like young girls do

I learned about the stars from my father

from my father

but ashes and rags

was something I just came to

I built a fire to burn down my house

it made such a pretty flame

the windows cracked

the walls came tumbling down

I built a fire in the dead of night

that pretty little flame was quick

and clean

and right

In the spring of 2014, my music project kind of disintegrated and so did lots of things, actually. I found myself in a set of circumstances that was completely baffling to me. How did I end up living in Montreal with a Master's degree in classical saxophone (???) working for a bank and with a band that couldn't seem to hold itself together for more than five minutes at a time? How? All the choices that I had made seemed to make individual sense, but the end result was unfathomable. I wondered what it would be like to just scrap everything and start over. I wondered what it would be like if I just said, "Welp, 19 through 28 was sort of a waste of time. Let's try again..." and became a neurosurgeon or something. 

Years before, I had been having a fit of commitment-phobia about my studies. I told my dad that I wanted to stop studying music to become a doctor. The kindly sage looked at me with benevolent wisdom and said "That is literally the worst idea you've ever had." He went on to explain that being a doctor would mean that I would have to be in school for 10 years (ew), and that my whole entire career would be about touching sick people (EW). He was right, and I'm glad I'm not a doctor. After I got over my initial affrontedness, I learned an important lesson about staying the course. Sometimes your fear of commitment is just coming from the place inside you that knows that the number of choices you can make about anything, ever, is horrifyingly finite. I didn't burn down my metaphorical house in the spring of 2014 and things got better. The moral of the story is "don't run - work."

© 2016 by Zoë Robertson. Photography by Robert Zbikowski and Vincent Fugere. Proudly created with Wix.com

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