There’s a wonderful “self-help” theory floating about which espouses the idea that grief is part of forgiveness, that we have to let something go and mourn its loss before we can begin to recover any amount of internal peace in regard to it. Some even go so far as to say that the parts of us that are wounded simply can’t be the parts that seek and find forgiveness. Either way, revisiting the pain is part of the process… something songwriters like Maya de Vitry know all too well.
That sort of deep-seated trauma is something she examines on her new song, “Better and Better,” off her upcoming, Dan Knobler-produced album, How to Break a Fall (out March 13). The mid-tempo, laid-back track features Courtney Hartman on lead guitar and finds de Vitry ticking through the ways in which she has grown — and is growing — out of the anger and hurt of moments past, while learning to forgive herself along the way.
Whatever it was that happened, in this moment, she’s shrugging off the shame, the blame, the guilt, and the grief, in order to find “a rest that bones only begin to understand, when a body stops living like an answer to a man.” Anyone who’s rumbled with forgiveness knows how huge an internal battle such as that can be and how emotionally monumental a victory on that front is. And it takes a lot of courage to do it all out loud.
“This song was the doorway to this collection of songs and the doorway to a new kind of self-knowledge, self-reliance, and self-acceptance,” de Vitry explains. “Sometimes our pain exists in visible, external, physical ways, like when we fall and a bone breaks. But sometimes our brokenness is internal and invisible, and we may lack the words or ability or even awareness to communicate our condition, our needs, our pain. Sometimes there are parts of us that need to be healed but could never be put in a cast. We need to find other ways to give these parts of ourselves rest and recovery, before putting weight on them again.”