Mood Monday-Emily Wells-Don’t Use Me Up and Come To Me

Mood Monday


I have slept for a really long time.

I should be rested, but my mind is full. My heart is full. Name an emotion and I have probably felt it in the past few days. Anyone, go ahead, try and stump me.

I have been traveling on a once in a lifetime trip throughout the Northwest. We began in Portland and ended up in San Francisco. We drove over 1,000 miles. I laughed till I cried, screamed in bouts of fear, and ooohed and ahhhed taking in the the vast beauty of our earth.

I felt puny and quite insignificant among the mountains, lakes, and ocean we visited. Their power was enormous and I felt my power as a human diminish significantly in their presence. My trip was full of incredibly spiritual moments, quiet beautiful moments of reflection and connection. And yes, I listened to some really good music.

The people we encountered were diverse and interesting. Their stories were real and poignant. Amazingly many of the colorful people we talked to were from the south and moved away to find a more diverse and accepting world.

The trip began with cycling in Portland, dancing at Pickathon, windsurfing on the Hood River  (admittedly I was just watching, but still), hiking Crater Lake, riding through the Giant Redwoods, hair whipping walks on the headlands of the California coast, sipping wines in wine country, experiencing an exotic dinner in Japantown, riding on a Go Car through San Francisco, and ended up with dinner and dancing in the Mission. Believe it or not, that is a very simplified overview.

Then, with my jar full to spilling over with exotic experiences and euphoria….I was slapped with the reminder that life isn’t always good and happy.

Within a simple email of deep love and sadness, I learned about a loved one who is beginning to walk the terrible road of fiercely fighting an advanced Cancer. Tears and shock permeate me, and I am the lucky one. My heart breaks for the hardships she will endure and her need to turn away from everything she is so focused on that brings her joy. A distraction of great magnitude. A boulder rolling down toward her. It will take all of her focus, smarts, power and strength to halt it. I wish I could step in and stop it. The hateful part is that I can’t. None of us can and my heart breaks in the frightening realization that the universe is so much bigger than we are.

As if that wasn’t enough and when my heart couldn’t bear much else, I answered a phone call of frantic sobbing screams of sadness. I learned of the tragic loss of a young vibrant youth. A gentle soul of a boy, quiet and strong in his friendships, witty and quick to draw a smile on everyone’s lips, a determined gatherer of friends….he passed away senselessly. A gifted, loved guy, barely an adult….my pain is based on his sweet, close friends who suffer his loss, and wishing I had known him just a little bit more. I will forever miss saying hello to him at gatherings over holidays, future graduation celebrations, inevitable weddings, and and and and…..

My heart breaks for his loved ones and his family.

Like an egg, I am cracked and worried for my dearest. I worry if I say the right thing or act the right way. I want to be some kind of light in their darkness, and then after listening to their pain, I try to remember to end every sentence with reassurances of my love. Sadly, that is the one and only thing I actually have the power to do.

Listen and love.

Helplessness is hell.

When your loved ones suffer it is hell.

So as much as I would like to share all the upbeat music that describes my rockin’ trip, today, I just can’t. This song is a powerful testament to the pain I feel. A gospel like tune with an aura of serious wrenching emotion, “Don’t Use Me Up” can be interpreted in many ways. For me, it simply sings of a pain, that all humans feel at one time or another.

At this moment in time it speaks to me.

Emily Wells-Don’t Use Me Up


Don’t use me up
I wanted everything so don’t use me up
Don’t let me down

I’m really counting on you so don’t let me down
Everything is easier when you wash it down
All your friends are your best friends
When you wash it down
So go meet the devil. Go meet Jesus
When you wash it down, when you wash it down
Don’t tie me up
I got no strings attached so don’t tie me up
Don’t let me go
I wanna hold you back so don’t let me go
Everything is brighter when you wash it down
Everyone knows your name when you wash it down
So go meet the devil. Go meet Jesus
When you wash it down
We went down to the water to be baptized

Don’t use me up

I wanted everything so don’t use me up
Don’t let me down to the water to be baptized


Emily Wells began playing the violin at the age of 4. She has now become an American multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer whose genres encompass alternative, experimental, and classical. Featured often on NPR music, and recently played to a stunned crowd at The Earl, I am only just beginning to hear the depth and beauty of her music.

Her single, “Don’t Use Me Up”, off of her early 2016 album release, Promise, is jaw droppingly powerful. Beginning with ethereal angel like voices and hymnal rounds, it stops with the punch of pleading requests. In an interview, Emily describes the song,

 “Among the first songs written for the album some time ago during a time of particular abandon. I joke that it’s a song about whiskey, friendship and Jesus, but in truth it was an s.o.s. to myself, to my future self, to people I loved, intended to remind us that the body is finite. As time passes so grows the meaning of the song and I now think most often of the finiteness of the planet when I sing it. The recording is one shade shy of a gospel hangover with all the instruments tempted to come off the rails when things get too quiet.


Her entire album is pleasurably full of mixes and arrangements that twist and turn with emotion. A roller coaster of sounds and feels, the latest album is a cool one to listen to in those questioning life moments. I have also added, “Come To Me”on my play again and again playlist. Another must listen to song, if you dig her unusual style.



Despite her songs waking me to my rawest emotions, I think I will sleep and sleep and sleep where dreams abound and reality is softened, if only temporarily.

Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite…



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