The Way Out Is Through

by Lorien E. Menhennett

If you recognized the title of this post, CONGRATULATIONS! You and I have more in common than a love of science and medicine – we also have in common a thorough knowledge of the Nine Inch Nails music catalogue.

Seriously, though, the title of this blog post is a meaningful one for me now. With all that has been going on in my life – serious upheaval and loss and decision-making – the song I reference in this blog post title (which is from NIN’s double-album, “The Fragile”), and its lyrics (while simple) are quite poignant to me right now. I would like to share them:

"The Fragile" album cover.

“The Fragile” album cover.

“The Way Out Is Through”

all I’ve undergone
I will keep on
underneath it all
we feel so small
the heavens fall
but still we crawl
all I’ve undergone
I will keep on

I know, I know … Nine Inch Nails has a reputation for some serious negativity. That reputation is partly deserved (although only partly, if you know Trent Reznor’s later music). But that’s besides the point. The point is that when you are “underneath it all,” the way really is through – through the difficulties, the pain. That’s how you get past it. But even when “the heavens fall,” perhaps when we feel like we can’t stand up in the darkness, we can still crawl, and keep on. The opening and final lines, “all I’ve undergone / I will keep on” are so on-point as well – after going through so much, I don’t want to give up. I refuse to.

I will keep on. No matter what.