1. A Story In Song (Part 1—Tom Waits)
  2. A Story In Song (Part 2—Kings of Leon)
  3. A Story In Song (Part 3—Ben Harper)
  4. A Story In Song (Part 4—Amos Lee)
  5. A Story In Song (Part 5—Blind Pilot)
  6. A Story In Song (Part 6—Right Away, Great Captain!)
  7. A Story In Song (Part 7—Amos Lee)
  8. A Story In Song (Part 8—Ray LaMontagne)
  9. A Story In Song (Part 9—Janis Joplin)
  10. A Story In Song (Part 10—Peter Bradley Adams)
  11. A Story In Song (The End)


I have a story in my book Pieces Like Pottery—”The Gravesite: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery”—in which I experimented with a number of different literary devices. More and more readers have begun to notice one of the devices more regularly. 

In addition to breaking the story up into ten sections, each of which follows one of the themes from the fifth sorrowful mystery, each section in the story also has a song that is paired with it. Yes, you read that right. I paired a song with each section. Like a fine wine paired with a good meal, the song’s lyrics are intended not only to add another layer of meaning to the words, but can also be listened along with that section of the story.

While more and more readers have been picking up on this, it’s certainly not an easy task for the casual reader, especially not one reading the print version of the book. I’ve promised to do this for quite awhile, so here you go. In ten parts, here is “The Gravesite: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery” paired with each song. Enjoy!

(For those of you that might be interested in how this section ties into the fifth sorrowful mystery, the fifth sorrowful mystery is The Crucifixion and the “spiritual fruit” is the Pardoning of Injuries. Part 8 reflects Jesus’ prayer, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”)


If you missed Part 1 through Part 7, go back start from the beginning! Enjoy!


The Gravesite 

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery

Part 8



The weeks that followed Mike’s discovery were when everything finally drifted apart. Mike left work early that day and found Lisa at the computer again. She was reading a new blog written by her deceased son. She had a sad yet wistful look in her eyes. Mike crouched down next to her and grabbed her hands in his.

“Honey, I found out where the new posts are coming from.”

Mike then went on to explain what he learned from his coworker. He had called the company himself later in the day and was able to guilt the poor customer service rep on the other side to give him more information. Chris had contacted them via email over a year ago and paid the minimum fee for ten blog posts. The representative said she could lose her job for sharing the information. Mike thanked her, telling her that she was giving peace to the parents of a dead son.

Lisa’s eyes were hollow by the time Mike finished. The wistful glint was gone. The sadness had darkened. Her eyes were wet, but tears were not coming. She got up and walked upstairs past her husband.

Mike stood in front of the computer and then sank into the chair. Like a building that had just imploded, his knees broke, then his waist, then his shoulders, and finally his head sank into his hands. Mike wept uncontrollably in that chair. He had lost a son, and he knew he was losing a wife. The life he knew was crumbling before his eyes.

As Mike’s head pounded from crying, he looked blankly at the computer. Chris’ new post that Lisa had been reading was still on the screen.


“That you never saw the signs, that you never lost your grip. Oh, come on now, that’s such a childish claim. Now I wear the brand of traitor. Don’t it seem a bit absurd.”

August 15th

We can only be who we are. I’m not sure I believe that we have a calling, each of us. The closest I can come to buying this is that we are meant to be who we are. I guess you could say I am “called” to be me, no one else, no more and no less. The most forsaken are those who fail to know who they are, or even worse, know it but fail to be it. If we are true to ourselves, we should never feel forsaken by anyone; we should never feel inadequate. This concept is nothing new. Both Polonius and Theodor Geisel said it long before me, yet we have an incredibly difficult time doing it. Be yourself, no one else. That’s all anyone can expect of you. That’s all you should expect of yourself.


Mike found himself beginning to hate each of Chris’ blog posts more and more. He missed his wife and found himself beginning to resent the fact that these blogs were driving them apart. In reality, each post was really only a conduit for the pain and distraction they both felt. Tragedy changes people, especially when that tragedy involves your own child.

As the days passed, Mike could see Lisa drifting away with every passing moment. There seemed to be nothing he could say that allowed them to reconnect. The distance between them was becoming insurmountable.

“How can you appear so calm?” Lisa asked one Sunday morning as Mike was sitting at the kitchen table with his coffee and reading the newspaper. Her question was posed with a sense of desperate longing, a need to understand how Mike did it, as if he had some undisclosed secret. There wasn’t a hint of disdain or judgment in her voice.

“Lisa, I’ve learned a lot of things through this terrible experience. One of those things is that everyone handles sorrow differently. Everyone mourns in his own way. What you see as calm is just me grasping for a semblance of normalcy.”

Lisa didn’t hear him. She continued with another question. “Why did you have to show me that website? Why did you have to confirm Chris’ death? Out of all people, why did it have to be you that finished it?”

Mike sighed. Taking a long drink of his coffee, he thought for a minute. “I’ve seen you struggling, honey. I’ve seen you flailing in despair. I wanted us to move on together. I wanted us to meet this head on together.”

“I don’t want to just move on, Mike. I can’t move on.”

Lisa grabbed the whistling teapot from the stove and filled her mug. “You just said it yourself—we each mourn differently. Why couldn’t you let me mourn? Why couldn’t you let me hold on to the hope of our son being alive? You took him from me again.”


Check out Part 9 of “The Gravesite.”


Lesson Learned (Lyrics)

Ray LaMontagne

Well the truth it fell so heavy
Like a hammer through the room
That I could choose another over her
You always said I was an actor, baby
Guess in truth you thought me just amateur

That you never saw the signs
That you never lost your grip
Oh, come on now
That’s such a childish claim
Now I wear the brand of traitor
Don’t it seem a bit absurd
When it’s clear I was so obviously framed
When it’s clear I was so obviously framed

Now you act so surprised
To hear what you already know
And all you really had to do was ask
I’d have told you straight away
All those lies were truth
And all that was false was fact

Now you hold me close and hard
But I was like a statue at most
Refusing to acknowledge you’d been hurt
Now you’re clawing at my throat
And you’re crying all is lost
But your tears they felt so hot upon my shirt
But your tears they felt so hot upon my shirt

Well the truth it fell so heavy
Like a hammer through the room
That I could choose another over her
You always said I was an actor, baby
Guess in truth you thought me just amateur

Was it you who told me once
Now looking back it seems surreal
That all our mistakes are merely grist for the mill
So why is it now after I had my fill
Would you steal from me the sorrow that I’ve earned
Shall we call this a lesson learned?
Shall we call this a lesson learned?



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