“What I want now is to trust God to bring me through the fire and know that what doesn’t kill me makes me mad, and what makes me mad keeps me moving, and if I’m moving, I’m going to do so with purpose and effectiveness…” from Something is Always on Fire: My Life so Far by Measha Brueggergosman (c. 2017)
A world-class soprano’s highs are very high indeed. Singing for The Queen. Performing the prayer hymn at the 2010 Olympics. Her breathtaking voice and charismatic personality have made Measha Brueggergosman a star many times over.
But then there are the lows that should be out of register, except that they are not. The end of her marriage. Stillborn twins. Open-heart surgery.
And the middle range, that is, daily life. Struggling to fasten the car seat buckles of her two young sons. Never ending bills to pay. The daily exhaustion of balancing family and career. The sandwich that “doesn’t make itself while you binge-watch ‘Scandal’”
“Yes, I may create the illusion that the energy is there, but that’s the fallacy of the highly ‘energized.’ We fake it ’til we make it. That’s the only thing that separates us from those who seem to be low ‘energied’ or every average ‘energied.’ We’re just better actors. But trust me, we’re exhausted.”
The spirit that moves through “Fire” is not travelling in a straight line. Don’t expect a linear chronicle of reflection and personal progress. There are switchbacks throughout. Do expect insights profound and personal. Brueggergosman touches on most of her major life events early on, and then revisits them later in the text, going deeper in the process of writing it all down.
Exuberant, funny, proud and humble… what shines through the truth of Something is Always on Fire is not only a singer of incomparable talent, but a woman of uncommon perseverance who owns her high notes, her lows and all measures in-between.