Music Saved My Life: Mojo Pin by Jeff Buckley

My best friend Jules and I were sitting on the floor of my aunt’s house, laying on her ‘70s brown shag. It was March 2017, and I was dating an inconsequential man, and I felt this stirring inside of me telling me to run.

It’s not an unfamiliar sensation to me; I have a habit of running away from my problems. Sometimes I feel so completely overwhelmed by emotion that I shut down and go numb, and the only thing I can do is try to make myself feel things again by triggering an emotional breakdown. Yes, I know it’s unhealthy, but I never said I was perfect and I’m still here and I’m trying.

Jules had called me when I was standing on the edge of a cliff. I was looking out over the water, wondering if anyone would miss me if I jumped. I kept seeing car after car drive by, no one stopped to ask if I needed help, and I felt totally disconnected from myself and the world around me. But Jules was there.

She met me downtown. We bought a baguette and some eggs, and we walked to my aunt’s empty house a little ways away. She held me and reassured me and then she put on Mojo Pin.

It begins with a call; when I listen, I hear Jeff Buckley calling out to all of the spirits and ancestors and energies and drawing them into his aura. His voice transcends space and time and is simply there to call. It is not a verse, not a chorus, just a beautiful, gut-wrenching cry.

Soon the melodies draw in together, layering over the guitar and shuffling drum beat, and it becomes more song-like. Mojo Pin, in that moment, brought out every emotion I was burying. Pain, nostalgia, loss, grief, joy, strength, fury. I felt all of the things Jeff Buckley was feeling when he created Mojo Pin.

And it saved my life. I didn’t feel like jumping off the cliff anymore. I bought a plane ticket to France the next day. I ran, and I loved it, and it changed my life.

So thanks to Jules for showing me Jeff Buckley, and for being there when I felt alone in the world. Thanks to Jeff Buckley for writing Mojo Pin and for truly laying it all out there; by being vulnerable in his music he allowed me to feel, and to survive.

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