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mewithoutYou, “In a Sweater Poorly Knit”

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On the surface, it’s a simple song about a woman. Like most songs about God, it toes that line. It talks about all the things he’s doing to forget about her, suggesting she do the same, and finally resolving that he honestly doesn’t need a thing. It’s Aaron Weiss at his best: a lot of words being flung out very quickly but each one crafted with care toward a greater message or question or consideration.

But, to me, it’s always been a song about God. How he’s my door-without-a-key, my own field-without-a-fence. That any attempt to forget his name and His influence will lead to failing peas or to the trap catching my own leg. With this in mind, Aaron Weiss’s final line of “I do not exist, only You exist” is his act of becoming nothing and refilling with God, becoming a part of God. Which is what the songwriter Weiss has truly tried to do in his personal life. He’s never been a man of materials, and there’s rumors and stories of him living in communes and contracting lyme disease from dumpster diving. He does his best to be as ascetic as possible.

With regards to its simplicity, mewithoutYou has always been built around Aaron Weiss’s words much like Primus is built around Les Claypool’s bass. They’re the featured instruments and so their songs tend to be give those words enough room to fit and to be played with–I’ve seen this band twice and I’ve never heard him sing a song the same.

Within me, this song strikes a deep chord. It came out at just the right time in my life (2006–senior–hopeless romantic–lost poet), and managed to reach deep into my spiritual life and shake it like a misbehaving hoe. This song, combined with John 9, really changed my perspective on what it meant to be human–that I didn’t have to have everything perfectly crafted, that I too was born blind and that God’s purpose will reveal itself one day. One day.

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