Monday, June 13, 2011

Playing in my heart

Listen to this post:

A long day all ‘round.

Just could not get out of the house and on the road. The kids’ first day home for summer. A sick friend needed an ear and another, a chat. The packing waited. 

The GPS was missing and I forgot the Google map, but I took the back way anyhow and, when lost, winged it, mostly. I do have a sense of direction, often bypassed with all of the high-tech toys. I like listening to my own voice rather than the GPS we not-so affectionately call blabber-mouth.

I took US Route 50 out of Milford to within a half hour of my condo destination, just south of Bloomington, IN. It’s funny how perceptions and realities shift when crossing a border – any border. Indiana just seems different than Ohio and, as I swayed along country roads, I tried to articulate why. This Hoosier state knows who it is and is comfortable in that skin. It’s the heartland of America, middle-of-the-road, crossroads, country, comfortable as a pair of faded jeans and unconcerned about appearances. There’s a consistency of life here: solid, small-town and what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

When I could get a radio station – my antenna broke long before I ever noticed – I had the choice of country or country. I settled on country and decided I could write my own song – about this trip.

I started and repeated, so I wouldn’t forget, then made a pit stop at McDonald’s, skipping the food to sit at a table and write the lyrics on the back of a gas receipt. I also used the video function on my camera, photographing the symbolic parked train parallel to the highway for a good distance. Upon playing it back, I realized the microphone was in the front, so I used just the audio. I think I have the beginnings of something:

A woman alone
got a journey to make,
Choosin’ the long way ‘round                  
with somethin’ to be found
Life’s been demanding,
but no reprimanding
The solitude calls from within her walls
Been singing her song for ever so long
But the ears can’t receive
what the heart has to grieve
Bit of dying happens ‘long this path
so something grows from the aftermath …

Not so terrible for a first song.

And the day was perfect Midwest summer: so hot it stifles your insides like steamy, unbaked cake batter and taps the memories of childhood when the heat was secondary. The day is open to playful possibilities.

The three-hour trip took five, but who’s counting? I only minded the 40-minute traffic jam around Lawrenceburg. Gave me time to wonder what, exactly, the casinos have done for the town … except snarl movement.

So NOW, I am here … alone and on retreat for a few days, Maybe I’ll be able to finish my song. [No promises of singing it, however!]

• How often do I recognize that the interruptions are part of the journey, maybe even the journey?
• When I do, what shift occurs within me?
• How can it turn a bother into a gift?
• What song is currently playing in my heart?
• What title can I give it?

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