When I first heard the single, “Let It Happen,” from San Jose native turned NYC transplant, Brooke D, I’ll admit confusion. The stripped down, lo-fi recording was void of electronic looping and multi-tiered vocal overdubs that I’d become used to from Brooke Dabalos. A simple 6-string acoustic guitar, her typically angelic voice was still there, but this song yearned for peace, quiet and solemnity. It wanted to be a counterpoint.
Seeing as we’ve all been released back into the world from our own respective quarantines, this call didn’t seem fitting. Freedom from our incarceratory chains should be jubilant, right? RIGHT!?
In this span, I’d lost a friend to his own mental illness. A dear, giving, loving soul who had been reacting to his own incarceration by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. At last, he was free. I almost felt relief for him. I kept repeating to myself that death was for the living, and Nick needn’t stick around just for us. Then I felt guilt for thinking that.
But it was on my second listening that I clung to a phrase in her lyrics, “. . . in my own head.” Everything made sense. There had been a cacophony of noise, from news pundits, and counter arguments. From Capitol rioters’ rebellion without direction, to Derick Chavin’s smug face, to the joy of watching him being led off in handcuffs. From the Fauci’s, the Trumps, the Bidens, the facemasks etc. And my own voices berating me for not using this time of isolation constructively; to master Transcendental Meditation, to learn remote viewing, to my marital difficulties, my therapists. F*cking noise. All of it. F*cking noise.
I realized what she was doing. She was stripping it all down. From a corner of her bedroom, recorded on her cell phone, without all the equipment, or the noise. She was telling me that it is okay to not be okay. I’ve started crying, now. Because I’ve never just let it happen. All this time. Just not letting it happen.
They say that patients often fall in love with their therapists. Maybe that explains why I’m so enamored with this song Brooke D. has just given us all: “Let It Happen.”
And if you don’t, you won’t or you can’t, that’s okay, too. Just let it happen.