Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul

I might as well warn you now – this will be more about me than the song, so prepare for a long one!

And I’m not only talking about this post, but the song as well. Impossible Soul is 25:34 minutes long (the post won’t be AS long, I promise), and the reason why it’s so long is that it’s more like 5 songs in one. But there is a reason why it isn’t broken up – It’s meant to be heard as one long bit and I can’t begin to tell you how many minutes I’ve spent listening to this song ever since I heard it the first time (actually Google Play Music says it’s 37 times – you do the math).

I vividly remember trying to get into Sufjan Stevens and I just couldn’t do it. I mentioned the story of I how I got into him in this post. Even though Vesuvius is still a great song, the one song that stuck with me the most since listening to the project is this one.

The song keeps on evolving musically and it feels just like getting into a cart that slowly takes you through the mind of Sufjan Stevens. I don’t want to go into a deep analysis of what the song is about, rather I’ll try to describe how much it helped me to reflect about my own life.

I was doing my thesis when I heard this song for the first time. And I was having a hard time pulling it all together. It wasn’t an easy time for me, but I have always turned to music when I’m having a hard time in life and this was no different.

You know that feeling of something just coming into your life at the right time? This song felt like such a moment for me. I was having a hard time figuring out what life had in store for me. Especially thinking about what is going to happen after writing my thesis – what I want to do – who I want to be – where I want it to happen. Thoughts that every human has throughout their life (or at least should consider to some extend). But to even have the slightest idea of an answer to these questions, it’s necessary to have time to reflect about it. I didn’t have time. I was busy with something more important: my thesis.

This should have been very simple. Finish your thesis, and then you will have all the time in the world to think about this. Except my brain didn’t quite agree with me. I needed something more than to occupy myself with the thesis. I needed a different (or some would say higher) purpose. At the time, I couldn’t quite come to terms with not knowing what waited for me on the other side of completing my thesis and actually having to do it at the same time.

When I put on this song though, it seemed like for a moment my mind would find peace. The most important thing it did, was give me a sense of perspective. Especially the 4th part of the song (starts around 13:50) reminded me that, even though I was feeling a bit lost at the time, I would look back at this time in the future and realize it was only a small part of my combined time on this earth.

This certainly help me get out of my thought-bubble that I created and realize that no matter what I’m doing, no matter if it’s positive or negative, no matter for how long it’s going on, it’s still only temporary. And I will soon be doing something else – hopefully something I enjoy, but there will always come times where you are uncertain of it all. It’s about powering through these moments and learn from them.

This song is something that I will forever enjoy because of this. I love when I’m able to relate to songs, but when it makes me reflect about my life as well, that’s when a song goes from good to great – or even perfection. This song came into my life at the right time, and even though I’m not a believer of anything such as a higher being of some sort, I love how coincidences sometimes line up and helps you out in life.

I really just hope the song can inspire you the same way it inspired me.
That wasn’t too long, right?

Other streaming services:
Google Play Music
Apple Music


Leave a Reply