photography, poetry

Killing me softly (Gogyohka)

Killing me softlyGogyohka: A 5 line Japanese micro-poetry form

I love the song “Killing me softly”, originally composed by Charles Fox. I came to know the song by the version Lauren Hill did, and it had a huge impact on my life. A very special blogger friend, Sibella, from Arts & Rhymes, recently posted a You tube video of the song, and it made me remember an experience I had 10 years ago. My husband and I had recently left an arts team we were working with. We were on our way to Argentina for my husband to do a course in journalism. Before leaving Brazil, I had some questions about my life and future. I prayed and asked God about it and this song came to mind. I didn’t remember the lyrics at the time, but the next day I heard a friend humming the same tune while listening to her mp3 player. I asked to listen to it so I could hear the lyrics.

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his songs
Killing me softly with his songs
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his songs

Now, 10 years later, after hearing that song again, I had a type of revelation. I really feel like that is exactly what these last 10 years have been for me. Losing pride, discovering myself, finding my identity, firming my faith, dying to ego and the need to be known for what I can do. Shaping and establishing my world-view on a much deeper level.

Killing isn’t something we associate with good. Dying isn’t something that anyone wishes to experience. The funny thing though, is that in all of this killing and dying, I’ve never felt so alive and content. As if the opposite has happened.

Have you ever had a song profoundly affect you? If so, share your story πŸ™‚

I would just like to share a photo of my cute new little puppy, Benny. He gives me heck when I sit down to work, so I’ve succumbed to putting an old cushion next to my computer for him to be close to me. Hahahahaha. I love him to pieces.

benny computer

78 thoughts on “Killing me softly (Gogyohka)”

  1. Awww I love this post, Staci – the poem and the story behind it, and your new puppy!!!
    Dying to oneself and being born again is the best experience a person can have!
    I don’t think I had ever had a song impact my life like this one did yours, except one time (in kind of a sad way)… but that’s all past.
    I absolutely love music, it inspires me in many ways and I often have my music and headphones on when I paint.

    1. Oh really? You wear headphones when you’re painting. That’s great. Like it energizes and inspires then.
      Thank you so much Sibella. I just had to write something in response to how it impacted me. And the funny thing is that in dying to ourselves, we are indeed being born again, aren’t we?
      I’m so sorry that the only way a song has impacted you was in a sad way. Awwwww. I’m glad it’s in the past.
      Have a great weekend and have some fun ok.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

      1. If I sit in my backyard and paint then I have my iphone music playing loud, if i’m the house than I usually listen with the headphones on. I Love music!!!

        Songs tend to bring back memories, and it doesn’t have to be a sad event, it’s just sadness for times passed that we can’t get bring back… But all is good! I am not sad or anything and when I am, I get over it quickly with God’s help! πŸ™‚

        Thanks and have a wonderful weekend too! ❀ ❀ ❀

  2. Beautiful and inspiring post, Staci! One album has been very important to me, My December by Kelly Clarkson. It is strange but it really helped me a lot when I needed it. And even if I’m not the most religious person, I love the song Irvine, it is about God and it is beautiful.
    By the way thanks so much, just read your comment on my blog. ❀ You are the best! thanks so much

    1. Muito obrigada. I’m so glad you found it inspiring. I have never heard that song before. I’m going to have to check it out on Youtube.
      Ohhh, you’re more than welcome. It’s all true, my friend.

  3. Ah! Staci…so much to love about this post not the least of which is little Benny!!!! I love your art…your poem…and your revelation to that song. I hated that song when I wasnyoung, but find it incredible now. And yes…I have many times had a profound revelation from songs πŸ™‚ Blessings to you!! β™‘β™‘

    1. Awwwww, thank you so much Lorrie. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. And yes, Benny is such a cutie pie. I just want to squeeze him and hold him and fill him with kisses.
      I was never a huge fan of the song either, until it started speaking to me. And I have also had other songs impact my life.
      Blessings to you and have a great weekend, my friend.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

  4. I know all too well the experience you described. It was excruciating going through it, but on the other side I am experiencing the benefits of having my identity found in nothing but Christ; not in anything I can or cannot do.
    Benny is adorable and I think you have developed the ultimate arrangement: “Type, type, type.” Puppy kisses. “More type, type, type.” More puppy kisses.

    1. Wonderful Teresa. And that’s just it. Our identity is solely in Him. It really doesn’t matter what we can or cannot do. He accepts us just as well are, and changes us for the better.
      Hahahahaha. I loooooovvvveee that @Type, type, type, puppy kisses, more type, type, type, more puppy kisses. I just finished foo foo-ing over him a few minutes ago, so you’re not too far off on this.
      Thanks Teresa. Have a wonderful weekend.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

  5. Great words: there is another side of dying which you so eloquently stated. And I like the name of your new puppy :). Have a great night!

    1. Ohhhh hahahahaha. Oh yes, you should like the name eh. My son actually wanted to name him ‘Benjamin’, which is the name of one of his best friends here. I told him he couldn’t do that. Hahahahaha. My son has Asperger’s syndrome.
      Thank you so much for your kind words Benjamin. I always love reading your comments. And I like that word, ‘eloquent’. I’m going to have to use it soon in a poem. Hmmmmm…. I better start thinking. πŸ™‚
      You have an amazing weekend, my friend.

    1. Hahahaha. I thought you’d appreciate the pic and the cuteness. I will definitely give him tons of kisses and hugs for you.
      Awwww, thank you so much Neha.
      Have an amazing weekend.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

  6. Staci, Benny is cute. I never would have thought about that song in that context. My fave is Amazing Grace. I sang it at my second husband’s memorial. It always reminds me of God’s Grace, which is always faithful.

    1. Neither would have I. It’s funny though, I’ve had that happen with a few song that I never would have thought of.
      Ohhhh, Amazing Grace – a classic. I was asked to sing it in English recently at a fun Friday night event here at our YWAM base. I even posted it. If you’re interested at all, you can check it out here:
      Oh yes, Benny is the new pride and joy of our home and family. My kids are young, and one being an Aspie and very quite hyper, so Benny gets handled a lot. Sometimes he just looks at me with these ‘rescue me’ eyes. Hahaha.

      1. God speaks to all in different ways. Songs are a great way, for us creative types!
        Aww, good thing Benny is gentle! How old are your kids? I have a 2 yr old grand baby. I can’t believe I’m that old! haha
        But the gray hair should have given me a clue! πŸ˜‰

      2. I have an 8 year old son with Asperger’s Syndrome and a 5 year old girl that’s going on 14 – hahaha. πŸ™‚
        My grey hairs are starting to come in too. Eek!
        Have a great week Melinda.

  7. Great post and what an adorable puppy! I love that you had to give him is own little cushion near where you work! Sooooo sweet and cute! Hugs, N πŸ™‚ ❀

    1. Hahahahaha. Thanks Natalie. He’s just so adorable, I could eat him up. He’s actually an early Christmas present from my family. My Aspie son fell in love with Yorkshires and there was a woman close to us selling them. We’re using Benny also as an opportunity to teach our him responsibility and all. He gets the lovely job of cleaning up after Benny twice a day πŸ™‚ (he does his business on newspaper in the bathroom).

  8. I hadn’t listened to this song before, So I gave it a listen, it’s a really nice song Stacilys. And Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Sometimes the smallest things in life provide us with a huge amount of clarity and strength.

    And look at Benny !! That cute little adorable ball of fur! I wanna cuddle him!!

    1. Hahahahaha. Oh yes, he’s just so cute and small, I could eat him up. I just love him to pieces. I’m always cuddling him. Hehehe.
      Thanks Zee.

    1. Haha. Yea, we love little Benny. He’s the cutest little thing. The mug was actually a gift. My husband was giving a workshop and produced a short film with those involved. The name of the film is ‘Cappuccino’. This mug was bought for it. Once the workshop was over, they gave it as a gift to my hubby. He doesn’t drink coffee, so he gave it to me. πŸ™‚ I like it too.
      Have a great week.

  9. Your puppy Benny is too adorable. He would be quite a distraction for me while working! I like the idea of dying to find life again. I believe that the word dying doesn’t have to be negative as you said. Sometimes to truly experience life to the fullest and find happiness, we must die or leave behind our old selves. Sometimes our old selves is what was keeping us from truly living.

    1. Isn’t he just the cutest little thing? Hahaha. Yea, he usually just rests or sleeps in the afternoon while on that cushion, so that helps me to concentrate on what I should be concentrating on. Hahaha.
      Oh yes, I agree @Sometimes our old selves is what was keeping us from truly living.
      Have a great week Crystal.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

    1. Oh yes, an awesome place. My aesthetic eye? Hehehe. Thanks D. Actually I think it was my husband that took this shot. I cropped it though for a background for the poem. My daughter was in the original and you can tell that it was taken in a museum (Science World in Vancouver).
      Benny is such a little cutie. He’s sooooo hyper too.

  10. Love that puppy…that face….
    Love the post, too.
    I think the songs that “speak” to me the most are those about how wonderful Heaven is going to be!
    It is sometimes very confusing for me to pray for the healing of someone when I know that they will be going to Heaven if they die and why would they want to stay here if Heaven is so wonderful. I have told my husband that no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, he is not to try to bring me back if I should die. Let me go to my real home!
    Does that seem selfish?

    1. Hahaha. Oh yes, I guess that makes sense. Heaven truly is better than here. While walking with my step dad and husband one day (we were in Canada visiting), we saw an elderly man with a cane and he was struggling with something (don’t remember exactly what). My step dad then said to my hubby, ‘if you ever see me like that, shoot me.’ Hahahaha.
      Oh yes, Benny is the cutest little thing.
      Thanks a ton QueenRobyn, and have a great week.

  11. Benny is ADORABLE!! How cute is he?!? Lauren Hill’s version of the song re-introduced me to the songs lyrics. I had grown up listen to the original. I love how you interpreted the lyrics. I feel like the lay 10 years of my life have a “dying to self” process so I can really relate to what you said, Staci. Wonderful poem and artwork. You are truly gifted. I think I say that on every post of yours! Lol well, it’s the truth!! Xoxo

    1. Hahahah @I think I say that on every post of yours. Thank you so much Kirsten. It’s encouraging to read nice comments from people that appreciate our work, don’t you think? πŸ™‚
      Soooo, you also have gone through this dying to self thing these last 10 years eh. Actually, I guess it’s been since I became a Christian, but the last 10 years have been going even deeper. It’s definitely brought life though.
      Oh yes, Benny is adorable. I’m thinking he’s not going to grow much more. Hahaha. I’m just wondering how much it’s going to cost to travel with him when we go to Canada next. Hmmmmm.
      Are we still on for Thursday Skype? What time is good for you?

      1. It is encouraging to have nice comments from others πŸ™‚ does he have to go into quarantine to travel to Canada?!? Yes we are still on for Thursday…would 5 pm my time work for you?

      2. It’s better after 8:00pm because the evenings with the kids are crazy busy. Showers, dinner, Hannah reading in English, Caue reading in Portuguese, etc. Is 8:00pm good for you? I think that would be 9:00 for me.

      3. Yup, no problem. Gotta love WordPress. I didn’t get this in my notifications. I just happened to notice it now.

  12. Hi Staci! Lovely poem. Yes, I’ve been affected by many different songs throughout different times in my life. I love music and it’s a big part of my life. I completely relate to this post. Thanks for sharing.
    Benny is adorable! ❀

    1. Ohhhh, thank you so much Vashti. I’m so glad you like this.
      Benny is such a little cutie. He’s really become a part of our family.
      Hope you’re having a great week.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

      1. Great week so far and I hope your week is going well too. Oh, they definitely become part of your family. I have a little dog too. His name is Scribbles. It’s funny, when my mom calls me she tells me to put his ear to the phone so that she could talk to him. Ha, ha!

  13. Hello Stace, what a lovely song you have shared. The lyrics are so deep and profound.
    Looking back, I see everything with a diffrent perspective. What breaks us, also makes us. Life is the biggest blessing from the Almighty πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing !
    Love and hugs to you and your family ❀
    Keep smiling πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Himali. The funny thing about growing and maturing, is that we start to recognize that things aren’t always the way they seem. Nor is everything black and white. There are many shades of grey. Sometimes what seems to be killing us, is actually producing life giving fruits in our lives. Like a vine. It must be pruned of stuff in order to produce new growth. Or like the gold in the fire. Put it at high temperatures and all of it’s impurities rise to the top to be skimmed off. Then only the pure gold remains.
      Awwwww yes, life is a blessing.
      Much love and hugs to you and your family too, my friend.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

      1. Wow, I love your thoughts ! We need to go through our share of rains to enjoy the sunny days. Life is a good teacher.. It at times teaches us the harsh way. But that only makes us stronger πŸ™‚

  14. Benny is adorable! I am sure he will bring more inspiration to your writing and painting πŸ™‚ Killing me softly is beautiful song and sad as well. I have some songs that stick with me because they connected to specific my life events. Few of them in Indonesian though. A Whiter Shade of Pale that sang by Annie Lennox is one of these songs..

    1. Hahaha. I don’t know if Benny will bring inspiration, but he certainly does brighten up the day with his cuteness and affection πŸ™‚
      I don’t think I’ve ever heard that song by Annie Lennox. I’ll have to check it out on You Tube.
      Have a great weekend Indah.

  15. Staci, this is a marvelous post. I do remember this song, so thank you, I just listened to the Roberta Flack version. It’s interesting to look back at who we were and compare it to who we are now. β€œKilling me softly” is a beautiful poem and the artwork is spectacular. I love your use of the butterflies and their significance and symbolism, as well as the implied metamorphosis process, at least that’s how I interpreted it.

    Benny is an adorable companion, too cute! Please have a wonderful Friday, enjoy your weekend, and take good care.

    Always wishing you the best,
    Pepperanne β™₯

    1. Brilliant interpretation Pepperanne. And what a great word – Metamorphosis. Yes, that’s just it. Transformation. Shedding the old and worn out, and maturing into something far more beautiful.
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you liked this one. The art is actually a photo from Science World in Vancouver. I cropped it so that it would give the affect I was looking for. I thought it perfect for the poem and what it signified.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Take care,
      πŸ™‚ ❀

  16. What a wonderful song. It’s been remade many times, and each time, each interpretation is beautiful. I also love the transformative function of butterflies in prose and song. Well done! As far as songs that have had profound meaning, there have been a few. However, the one that is most relevant happens to be the oldest – In my life by The Beatles. It’s been my solace in times of loss during my life and lends me comfort when I needed it most.
    Benny is the cutest! I’m sending him a virtual doggie biscuit!

    1. Thanks so much Rob. Yea, there are been many versions of the song. And even the little English guy in that movie with Hugh Grant did a version himself. That’s the funny version. Hehehe.
      I don’t think I’ve ever heard that song from the Beattles. I’m going to have to check out Youtube to hear it. I knew that there must have been some type of music that has impacted you, with your love for music and all.
      Awwwwww, I’m sure Benny will love the biscuits. Hahaha.
      Have a wonderful weekend, and I really hope that things get better for you, my friend.

  17. Life has both and we cannot escape the truth, the song has its way to interpret and it is profound in its meaning…Benny, is new addition to family, very cute and they are wonderful creature of God and we feel where all animals were not like dogs, it would have been so fascinating to live together and man-animal relationship would have been totally different.

    Good that you reminded of the song and it is nostalgic but one is forced to reflect.
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you so much Nihar. That’s right, we can’t escape the truth.
      Benny is the cutest little thing. I just love him to pieces. Oh yes, imagine if animals and people could live together in harmony. Wouldn’t that be interesting.
      Having a great weekend so far. Hope you are too.

      1. Indeed Staci, life is beautiful when learn the art of living, and it comes once we learn the art of thinking, as we think so is our state of mind for working…meaningfully engaged in our working provides the space for good living.
        Yes, with Benny around you, you will have lovely moments to cherish and capture those nuggets of wonderful experiences into words of gold…glittering post comes from thoughts with gratitude.
        take care!!!

      2. Ohhhhh, I like that Nihar @ glittering posts come from thoughts with gratitude. Yes, I am very grateful, and hopefully my posts will be glittery because of it. Hehe.
        ‘The art of living’
        –I like this too. It truly is an art. To actually ‘live’. Not just pass our days. Not wallow in the past or always be looking to the future, or ‘the next best thing’. Living and appreciating each moment for what it is. Ahhhhhhh. Yes, now that is the art of living.
        Take care Nihar, and thank you for the insightful words.

  18. Thank you for sharing the lovely story Staci and Benny is flipping adorable ❀️ I hope you are well honey xx love Paris

    1. Ohhhhhh, hi Paris. For some reason I did not receive this comment in my notifications. I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your beautiful comment.
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Benny is such a cutie, I could just eat him up. Hahaha.
      I hope you’re well too Paris.
      Please have an amazing weekend.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

      1. I totally understand it happens ❀️
        I’ve been outta the country just got home, spending the weekend mimicking a couch potato lol. Sending hugs your way πŸ’‹

      2. Hahahaha. That’s funny. Oh wow, where did you go? Were you on vacation? You know, every so often being a couch potato can do us some good.
        Hugs to you ❀

  19. I love your little Dog! So sweet. I liked reading your post. I can relate as ten years ago I almost died. I had cancer of the head and neck. In the end it wasn’t the cancer that nearly killed me but a mass in my lungs and an infection from the radiation and chemo treatments that beat my body and immune system down. It was the worst experience I’ve ever been through and I have to say I am a better person because I went through it. Life has more meaning, small things are cherished, and I also discovered a deeper side to my creative side in the pain I didn’t know existed. When I went through treatments and even the pain meds wouldn’t take away the pain I would sit up and paint on canvas in late hours when I couldn’t sleep and the pain was too much. Now, living with the lasting effects of cancer and chronic pain I am still finding I have many talents that come from these adversities and times of pain. There is always good to be found in bad! Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed your post very much. πŸ’—

    1. Oh wow! That is such an amazing story of trial and triumph. I am so sorry you still experience the pain, or the aftereffects of it though. That must be so trying and tough. After reading this, I don’t have any right to complain about my sufferings. You must be such a strong person. I’m sure you are. I’m so glad you ran to creativity. It’s in our essence. We were made in God’s image and likeness, so we MUST create, as He is the Almighty creator. You have a wonderful talent. Would love to see more of your stuff.
      Bless you, and thank you so much for sharing this with me.
      πŸ™‚ ❀

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