We Are Ships began a long time ago. The actual writing for the song itself began around three years ago. I had just graduated from college and just been laid off from a job for the first time. A VERY good job. I had started that job 2 years before and had planned on keeping it while I figured out what to do with my life and musical career now that I was finished at my university. So, I found myself feeling very grown up, a college graduate, on my own, yet also very powerless. I had always pictured that time very differently in the years leading up. I thought that once I graduated, I'd have everything figured out, that my life would have a distinct trajectory with plans and graphs charted and followed; I thought I would be in control, but I was wrong. And always in those moments when we realize we are completely out of control, we do ALOT of thinking. So that's what I did. And as a writer, pensivity is usually the precursor to a song.
One of my most prized posessions is a journal my father gave to me on my 18th birthday. It was his journal, yet it's significance was that he had written it for me, beginning when I was 4 years old. He wrote of the things going on in his life, the struggles, the joys, the things I wouldnt have been able to clearly see at that time as a young boy. The entries would sometimes be weekly and other times, months apart, but that didn't matter to me. The words and thoughts of my father were simply precious to me. And so, in this quarter-life crisis of mine, I began to pull out this journal and read of my fathers life; and what I read surprised and comforted me. My father had gone through the same struggles. And not just in his 20's, but 30's and 40's. He understood what it felt like to question the direction of your life, to be laid off, to struggle, to have to rely on trust and faith, BUT through the years, he remained unshaken. You see my dad was a man of faith. He lived every day following the christian God and seeking to know Him better. My father introduced me to God when I was a young boy and I too followed in his footsteps. The reminder my father's journal gave me was that I was not abandoned, that God was with me, and He understood me. He understood my fears and my desires. I understood that I too could endure this time, unshaken.
The image of the ship came from this thought process. Our lives have direction and purpose. Circumstance can't be controlled (much like the sea), but circumstances cannot destroy the latter, they only refine our direction and purpose and our perceptions of them. A ship is a instrument of travel. It is not the end all be all. It gets us to where we are going. Such is the same with our lives here on earth. We must place our hope in the things that last, not the things that pass.
I won't explain the meaning behind the all the metaphors throughout the song (as I'm sure you are completely capable of deciphering. I'm no rocket scientist or foreign philosopher :), but this is where the song was birthed, where it began. I welcome questions if you have any and I'm happy to answer :)
Stream the whole song either here on our site under the recording tab OR on soundcloud.