| Lauryn, Sketch, pencils (2022) |
Every so often I go through a phase of drawing musical artists with lyrics from a song of theirs. Something about the lyrics, the music and/or the artist just resonates with me at different stages of my life. Last year I felt compelled to draw Lauryn Hill and add the lyrics from her song Tell Him in a circle around her head. Now that I look at it, it looks like an afro / halo.
I really connected to this song (and several others) from the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill's album when it came out in the late 90s. I was happy to see someone who not only looks more like me in the mainstream media but who also thinks like me. I love how she covers important topics on a deeper and wiser level.
This particular song feels very grounded to me. There was a time when I needed to hear that song as a reminder of what I stand for. A couple years ago, I was in a situation where I felt betrayed and hurt by peers who just didn't have the capacity to see beyond their own interest. They didn't seem to have any compassion for people suffering around them. I remember feeling extremely disappointed by their behaviour and was contemplating just cutting them off because I was expecting more from them. But then then that song popped in my mind. So I listened to it a couple times in a row and it helped me ground myself and release the expectations I had of them.
I came to an understanding that we're all at different stages of consciousness and everyone is doing the best they can with what they know at the time. I didn't have to stay close to them but I also didn't need to suffer from the disappointment. I could just release it and recognize that we were at different stages, and that's life.
From my experience, this is how powerful some songs, sang by the right artist, can be. And perhaps this drawing was another reminder. If you're curious, you can read the lyrics from this particular song below and see if her message resonates with you too.
(written by Lauryn Hill)
Let me be patient, let me be kindMake me unselfish, without being blindThough I may suffer, I'll envy it notAnd endure what comes'Cause he's all that I got andTell himTell him I need himTell him I love himAnd it'll be alrightAnd tell him, tell him I need himTell him I love himIt'll be alrightNow I may have faith to make mountains fallBut if I lack love then I am nothin' at allI can give away everything I possessBut left without love then I have no happinessI know I'm imperfectAnd not without sinBut now that I'm older, all childish things endAnd tell himTell him I need himTell him I love himAnd it'll be alrightTell him tell him I need himTell him I love himIt'll be alrightI'll never be jealousAnd I won't be too proudCause love is not boastfulOooh and love is not loudTell him I need himTell him I love himEverything's gonna be alrightNow I may have wisdom and knowledge on EarthBut if I speak wrong then what is it worth?See what we now know is nothing comparedTo the love that was shown when our lives were sparedAnd tell himTell him I need himTell him I love himAnd it'll be alrightTell him tell him I need himTell him I love himIt'll be alrightTell him I need himAnd it'll be alrightTell him it'll be alrightTell him it'll be alrightWhen the evening comes...
In the nighttimeIn the morningIn the evening baby, tell him