I love to seek out poetry that helps me understand myself and my world, don’t you? I especially love poetry that gives me hope.
Since I first heard 8-mile and his description of that one “chance of a life time” I’ve been a fan of rapper Eminem as a special kind of poet. He shares the importance of free self-expression in getting where you need to be as an individual.
I discovered how to make my own channel of favorites on YouTube just a few weeks ago, I know, I’m very, very late to the party. Eminem’s “Not Afraid” 2010 was one of the first things I “favorited” there, and it’s embedded here in case you haven’t heard it yet. With 225,552,534 views of “Not Afraid” on Youtube and counting, I just have to ask:
Does anyone else get chills every time they watch this?
He describes and shows a certain kind of darkness that’s become a nearly universal experience in our times. But replacing the common image of suicide being on the edge of the precipice, Eminem uses a free fall into a waterfall followed by a soaring rise right back up toward the sky and reaching the top of the building. This is the part that brings tears to my eyes and gives me chills. I’m not sure why.
I’m so very happy to see someone “take a stand” against addiction and to win, then offer a hand in support to others. Even if it’s a video, even if it’s become a story, it gives me hope.
With Easter coming, and the promise of rebirth, memories of the beautiful stories from ages ago of the ascension and eternal life of the spirit, this one poem in the song seems special right now. We’re living in an age when depression and addiction are so prevalent, so neglected, and we are in need of people to act as guides to show a way up, a way out, a way back home.
So although you don’t need my thanks, thanks Eminem. As he says, “holler if you’ve been down the same road”.