Last night was hard. I had a breakdown at work. I’m trying to figure out how to manage the sadness that comes at that time of night. It sucks, to say the least. But when I’m driving home at that time of night, there’s been a heightened sense of “I’m going home” when I drive back to where I live. I knew it was home beforehand, but the feeling has increased.
The second track of Mago also speaks of home – finding home in another person. “After the War” is told from another person’s perspective, and “they” are talking about me. I was writing about how I thought the other person felt about me and pulled quotes from what they had said previously. It was all guesswork at that point, and it went downhill quickly. As I tried to salvage what we had once had, the rest of the album came together around that series of events.
I always heard that a person should always live for themselves and not for anyone or anything else, for the person or thing one finds a home in can easily leave. I also heard that one can never truly love unless they love themselves first. I know firsthand that the second one is true, at least. As someone who constantly sought the love of others to fill something missing inside of me, I know it’s miserable and I know it’s true. I became clingy and desperate, and that led me into some terrible situations. I didn’t even try to work on myself much, for my own mind terrified me and I thought of it as something that should not be explored. One of these situations inspired this song.
It wasn’t until after this war, so to speak, that things got better in a strange way. This next passage might make me sound completely insane. Bear with me, if you wish.
I have very strong spiritual impressions sometimes. They never say “Meg, the world will end on XYZ date”, they’re generally very personal and only deal with me or me in relation to another person. This handful of impressions changed my life.
One night, I had a dream. I was a noblewoman locked in a room by my wicked guardian with only an impish assistant to keep me company. Then a prince began climbing up to my window to try and talk to me, and I kept turning him away. That is, until my assistant convinced me to give him a shot. We got married.
The following evening, I sat in my car, deep in thought. Then an impression came to me. It said,
“He is out there. Keep working on yourself, and he will come.”
I was taken aback, but I wrote it down anyway. There were a few false alarms and I waited (im)patiently, as I normally do, until I received another set of impression marching orders. They said,
“The final player has entered the game.”
Not three weeks later, my husband and I started dating. We’d been talking before that, but my theory is that something kicked his butt and he started to seriously consider me. I had been considering him five minutes after he started messaging me. No joke. I tried finding home in others, but only he helped me find home in myself, too.
I paraphrase Homer’s Odyssey in “After the War” in the lines “so let’s build a bigger bed together/to lay in when we’re alone/move it, move in/move it to prove who you are/after the war”.
One could say that my husband and I went on two separate odysseys to find each other again, both of us like Odysseus in different ways. I knock on my heart and his to find home now, and he does the same, but vice versa. And we’re home now in our Ithaca.