“Begin Again” by Gratitude

79. Song No. 881: “Begin Again,” Gratitude
Gratitude, 2005

First of all: obligatory acknowledgement that Jonah is one of the purest souls currently existing on this ball of hellfire we’re all riding.

Nobody does unassumingly anthemic songs like Jonah Matranga. This one in particular is constructed just so beautifully and perfectly that I can’t believe it was just a happy accident how the quiet, meditative beginning gives way to the certainty of constants before getting blown to hell by the crescendo of a declaration.

What I love best, though, is that this is no overzealous seize-the-moment declaration of victory: It is the anthem of those who embrace existing for all its ups and downs and all the life and lessons in between those highs and lows. Everything that has happened before will happen again, both to you and to other people, so why not learn from it so you’re better prepared next time around. Or so you can help the people you love when they’re in the same hole you know the best way out of.

This is not reclaiming your purpose and lighting up the direct path to a certain moment of assured and cinematic triumph. It is embracing your place as part of something bigger and greater and more eternal than you. It is living through those moments that almost break us but coming out the other end understanding it’s just a metamorphosis that’s as every bit as painful as every fracturing shift has to be before you can settle into your new shape. It is the windows down, the volume defiantly up and an endless road with no clear direction to a most assuredly better destination where all that stands between you and it is the journey that’s hellbent on teaching you something you’ve been needing to learn. And it’s singing at the top of your lungs the whole goddamn way there.

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