‘Oubliette’ by A.I. the Anomaly is Beautiful and Tragic But Ultimately Points to Jesus as Our Help
Waking up, I turn my wrists. They are sore, my fingers are bruised and muddy from digging at the stone and rubble. I try to move but there is hardly space to move, my back begs to sit, but this too is impossible. It’s dark and damp, shadows are all my eyes allow. Panic begins boiling in my chest until it rises out of my throat as screams. I watch the air rise, it is carried above. There is a trap door overhead. My only exit is a rusty door I cannot reach. It must be opened from the outside.
Then I realize, I placed each stone here. I confined my space.
I jumped in – I jumped into the ‘freedom’ I created.
That ‘freedom’ now holds me captive. Could there be one to open the door?
This imagery can double for what it’s like to live in sin. It’s a dark pit with only one escape, much like an oubliette. An oubliette is an ancient secret passage often found in dungeons. Prisoners were often placed here and forgotten as the French root of the word (oublier) implies. A.I. The Anomaly, boldly paints the picture of this chilling metaphor in her song, “Oubliette.”
Listen to A.I. The Anomaly Below:
A.I. Does not leave sin vague, she digs in describing the many shapes it can take and calls it out specifically.
“Stuck in this chamber chained and you cannot escape/
I am your fallen efforts, I am your broken treasures/
I am your friend, I am your foe, your unanswered questions/
I am what you chose to fill your voids. I am your noise/
Your distractions, your attractions, I am your choice”
A lot of these hit me. I think it’s easy to desensitize myself to what I saved from. Yet, my sin has gradients and facets – it’s complex, creative even. Sin is not always a big flashing wrong. It can be seemingly insignificant things left unchecked and given control.
For example, my ‘unanswered questions’ cause me to believe that God isn’t trustworthy. If I can’t answer something, I’ll let myself entertain the idea that He is not good (which is bogus). Then there’s my ‘noise, distractions, attractions, my choice’ – wow, when I look at these things I tell myself it’s just part of life, it’s ‘human’ to be distracted. I make it like there is no choice. Some days I don’t even battle the skin that calls me into sin. These subtle sins darken the mirror that I could use to reflect the Father.
The lyrics go on to say that sin has been at work capturing the conscience, emboldening pride, and ultimately becoming our god.
“I have captured your conscience. You are captive in my pit…/
I am your downfall. I am your crown, I am your crowd/
I am your fouls, I am your flesh, I am your now/
I am your breath; I am your death; Yes! I am your God”
This is a practical look at how Satan goes to work. He works intelligently to capture our conscience. Without the discipline of taking our thoughts captive, we will be taken captive. I love how plainly A.I. Articulates this.
I want to press in a little more here with where this takes my thoughts. Our sins are crafted in our minds, right? Like if I decide to take any action it begins with plotting it in my brain, right? It’s so much less about actions and more about a lack of active conscience when it comes to sin (not saying the action doesn’t matter).
That’s why this line about the conscience being captured is so pivotal. When sin really moves in, it creates a fog over my conscience and after I don’t swat that fog away, it creates a door. That door is sealed and keeps out the wisdom, truth, and discernment of the Lord, so much so that what I’m doing no longer feels like sin, I no longer define sin, because I no longer have an agile conscience to keep me accountable. I only serve the voice I gave power to – the voice of darkness. I feel this spiral repeated when I become passive about what I permit myself to dwell on and digest. But I digress.
A.I. continues the narrative with an account of what happens after we choose sin, after we choose self. We then call the shots. We do what we want to do. It’s well said here,
“I was sitting in that dark room, comforted in my casket/
Having a blast, It’s tragic that my optics were so clouded by that blackness”
As His child, even living under His Light – I’ve got to punch caskets closed. This section of lyrics sits with me too because I’m ambitious. I hear those whispers of self-fulfillment and seeking affirmation – and sometimes I choose them. I can lay down in life and take every road I want to take – I can be Lord of my life, but it ends when my life ends.
We are more than what can decompose. Inside of you, inside of me is a soul crafted for eternity. With that soul in mind – I will punch caskets closed that try to close me into to being fulfilled and completed by earthly things. I know it’s a tangent, but punch those caskets shut with me. Don’t lay down here.
To turn the thing out, Christ is invited into the room.
“Burn your image on my soul, loose this bondage, make me whole/
New beginnings. Light reflection through this printer prism/
I’m captured by the lens and you saw beauty in this shallow view/
You chose to expose me to your florescent truth”
“I desire to be holy Lord. My desire to please weighs more than gold/
I often fail, God I’m unworthy/
I often fall, I’m undeserving/
I pick and choose, and I will worship/
Lord have mercy!”
There is one who can lift the rusty door and fill the room that once only held restriction. King Jesus. Our conversion to Light is beautifully illustrated here, weighing our desire for God, but our hopelessness to reach Him without His grace. I imagine the Lord, with joy heavy in His step pulling up his new children from the darkness. We a dirty, swollen, and blinking to see Him – and this is gorgeous to His eyes. Once our sight was dimmed to death, now we need no filter to see the truth.
This song is beautifully and tragically written. It is a reminder to me that Jesus is my help. He is my Savior upon pulling me up out of the oubliette, and He provides me with all I need to continue in light. I want to be running down the halls of the dungeon and yelling out the names to Him for who He will save next. I want to bend down over the trap door that I cannot lift and tell stories of the light and truth available above, and want to rig a rope with water and drop it down below to sustain those without Christ until they call for Him to pull them up. That is the beauty of our work.
“I’ve been processed in the darkness and it’s left me exhausted/
but you the catalyst catapult me into your promise/
Dear light of the Son, oh faithful one I call Father/
remember me not as sinner, but as your daughter/
Now I can praise you for your faithfulness/
because your character exemplifies perfection, your attributes exude excellence/
thank you father for your effervescent presence”
I love this final spoken word at the end. It’s where we get to claim Christ instead of ourselves. It’s where our sin is no longer a binding agent, and it’s where we are no longer defined or guided by darkness. I’ll leave you with the Scripture A.I. the Anomaly Writes at the end of the music video, 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”