Let Yourself Be Lifted

Jackie Scott
MFA TX 2020



Rushing water, Narragansett Beach. Photo by the author.

As a current thesis-year grad student, I’ve been struggling to keep up high spirits and the motivation to make work right now. My thesis is about creating community and dialogue around potentially isolating experiences of grief—and about the grief-healing qualities of water—and the work does feel relevant to this particular moment in time. I’m trying to find solace in that and in the importance of continuing to make beautiful things even when times are dark. I recently interviewed a good friend of mine, the artist Sheila Novak, for this project, and she sang a song for me that I want to share with you. She said that it’s something she sings to herself frequently because it “acknowledges being in a low place and also asks us how we give to the world,” a task that is certainly challenging in times of grief but can also be a way to help maintain hope. I hope it brings you some comfort and perhaps a reason to keep making art.

“Hallelujah” by MaMuse, sung by Sheila Novak

Every time I feel this way
This old familiar sinking
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry

I’m gonna let myself be lifted
I’m gonna let myself be lifted
I’m gonna let myself be lifted
By and by
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry

It’s been said and I do believe
As you ask
So shall you receive
So take from me these troubles
Bring me sweet release
Where the river will never run dry

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
By and by

I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry

There is a river in this heart of hearts
With a knowingness
Of my highest good
I am willing
I will do my part
Where the river will never run dry

This river will never run dry

Every time I feel this way
This old familiar sinking
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry

I’m gonna let myself be lifted
I’m gonna let myself be lifted
I’m gonna let myself be lifted
By and by
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry

It’s been said and I do believe
As you ask
So shall you receive
So take from me these troubles
Bring me sweet release
Where the river will never run dry

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
By and by
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry

There is a river in this heart of hearts
With a knowingness
Of my highest good
I am willing
I will do my part
Where the river will never run dry

This river will never run dry

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