3:00 am. I was about to go to bed. Then my eyes stopped on a sheet lyrics of a song I haven't yet worked on: Nothing comes to light. I quickly wrote the lyrics in Taipei one Thursday afternoon, as Jason’s sister was mopping the floor in the living room and I had not paid much attention to it since.
I sat at the piano, turned on the soft pedal and started playing. It all suddenly came out. And only then did I realise the meaning of what I wrote. The chorus went Give her love ‘coz she can’t help it / Give her love coz’ she can’t save herself… The verses were describing a lonely woman was drifting like Mrs. Stone in Tennessee Williams’ novel. Lonely woman, drifting and loveless, trying to find something. I actually got inspired by my cousin Nina and her current marital problems.
But as the music flowed out I understood it was also about: the Alzheimer disease. She wants to sail to distant shores / Where nothing can alter her mind / Day come white and night come black / Nothing comes to light. The woman was my own mother! I was trying to exorcise my fear of seeing her losing her mind and drifting in an inner world of her own. It’s true, she does keep forgetting things. She easily gets distracted and always claims it’s the Alzheimer disease. Even though it is not, I had been repressing the thought it could actually be the case. She went to see a doctor. I don’t quite know what to think. But what I tried to avoid appeared in the song…
This altered state of ego / She tries to shell her mess / Find a spot of her own / Nothing comes to light.