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The On Being Project

Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun

As many of you may know, our media project and public radio program is based in Minnesota. Two hours north of our studios is the enchanting harbor city of Duluth, perched along the rocky shores of Lake Superior. It’s gorgeous country up there. Lush and frigid and hearty. You can hear the lake ice groaning and cracking and heaving — haunting and harmonious all at once.

It comes as no surprise to learn that music permeates the region’s people and its way of life. And the Duluthian fiddler Gaelynn Lea’s song, “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun,” taps into the deepest recesses of ourselves, the spaces between our cells, the spaces you can’t feel but know they permeate the essence of who you are.

Gaelynn Lea was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a congenital disability that has resulted in shortened limbs in which “she plays her violin in an upright position like a tiny cello.” Like the yoga instructor Matthew Sanford, I sense that Gaelynn Lea knows things beyond our ken. I imagine she experiences the human body and the human spirit in a way that few of us may ever be privy to, and her inner ear listens to the heartbeat of a place and a people in a way that manifests itself in the music she creates: gritty, filled with sorrow and heartache, and a yearning hope that an authentic life is one well-lived:

Our love’s a complex vintage wine
All rotted leaves and lemon rind
I’d spit you out but now you’re mine

We bit the fruit, it seemed a lie
I’ll never know which way was right
Now side by side we face the night

And I love you
And I love you

We walked the pier and back again
It was the most scared I’ve ever been
You held my hand until the end

And I love you
And I love you

Don’t tell me we’ve got time
The subtle thief of life
It slips away when we pay no mind

We pulled the weeds out til the dawn
Nearly too tired to carry on
Someday we’ll linger in the sun

And I love you
And I love you

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