I thought life should be a chance to defeat statistics…

One Last Wish, “My Better Half”

In the aftermath of the dissolution of Rites of Spring, and prior to Fugazi’s iconic inception, Brendan Canty and Guy Piccioto pulled together a unique one-off indie rock project known as One Last Wish. To say the lyrical content bears Law-Gospel implications would be an understatement. Songs like “Loss Like a Seed” use religious language to comment on our natural penchant for the nostalgic as a means of self-redemption:

A present sacrificed to a sanctified past
That’s pointlessly asking, Will it never taste this sweet again?

And in the song “My Better Half,” a marine metaphor inspires self-sacrifice. It affirms the goodness of the Law, that “laying down your life” is the highest thing one can do (Jn 15:13). 

I would engage the world as my ally
I would engage the world
Against jealous fear and bitter ambition
That only aspires to the done and the dead

As the song continues, the oceanic baptismal imagery connotes the inspiration of the law that remains beautiful, though undoable. We are attracted to its poetic form, its siren call of idyllic beauty. Hear in these lyrics the tension between the passions of ambition and avarice opposed to the virtue of sacrificial love–“the challenge of love today.” Of course it’s a challenge! And the Law can’t silence the competing voices in our souls; we need death and resurrection. Still, we have in this song the image of the voice of reason emanating from the sea:

I went down to the sea
I don’t care if you don’t believe me
It spoke to me about my life
It spoke with the voice of reason
It told me to risk it all with the chance of nothing returned
Why do we make it so hard?
Why live our lives in distance?
Why do we make it so hard?
I thought life should be a chance to defeat statistics
I thought life should be a chance
And if sometimes I don’t pursue it
The sea speaks my better half

Thank God for a better Word though: at the Jordan River, a voice from heaven spoke, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” This is His word to us too, inasmuch as we are in Christ, “buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Thankfully, Jesus is more than our better half. He’s our Righteousness.