Thursday, June 14, 2012

On the 6th day of "pre CD release" Eric gave to me

If there is one song on My Brother's Keepers that stands out as the reason for the album title, "Remnant" would be the one for me.

My brother, Wendell, had written the bulk of this song years ago. He played it for me and I loved it.

It's a dark tale of watching a broken , conflicted person from a vantage point outside her situation and wishing you could help.

What makes it the ultimate "Brother's keeper" is the fact that it was definitely on the chopping block. It ran the risk of being eliminated forever. When we were gathering uncompleted songs for this album I remembered this one and I really fought hard to keep it and work it into the final product that made the album. Wendell didn't initially think it was gonna be strong enough to make the cut for the album. But I think he is happy now that it was kept.

Here's his story of "Remnant"'s creation:

Remnant is a story from the ER. But it's not one of the exciting, embarrassing or disgusting stories that I like to tell over dinner. It's actually a non-story for most ER veterans like myself - "more drama than trauma" as the adrenaline junkies like to say.

This one is a true story, but is really about a compilation of several people I've met rather than someone specific. I think the emotion I wanted to get across comes from seeing someone hiding a scar on her wrist. I've seen this so many times that I always check a pulse in both wrists mainly to make sure I'm not missing a suicide attempt scar. The gesture becomes easily recognizable - pulling down the end of a shirt sleeve, grabbing the wrist or sitting on hands. And it tells an entire story: "I've been in a bad place and I've made some even worse decisions, but I don't want to bring it up, I don't feel like talking about it and I don't want to be judged today based on that old scar."

When I find a hidden scar I don't always point it out and ask questions, especially if someone else is present. Everything doesn't have to be said out loud. It leaves a very complicated story untold.

This ER story is much more common than the gore, misplaced foreign objects and miracle diagnoses that you hear repeated on TV every night. It's a boring story that happens every day and never gets repeated. But I think it is one worth telling.

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