28 April 2006

Me and the Mini-van

I have driven a mini-van for the past eight years. Currently, there is 146,000 miles on the speedometer, but I think that this number does not give a real sense of the distance we have traveled. and I sense that there are yet many miles to go before it sleeps. You see, vans are suburban cars and serve the needs of families who must transport children, groceries, and supplies from Home Depots. Pull into the parking lot abutting a soccer field and it seems you’ve driven into a used van car lot. Even the children with driver’s licenses sometimes require to be driven. Where I live right now, even the pizza man does not deliver.

I have driven my mini-van for the past eight years. There is currently 146,000 miles on its speedometer. Oh, the places we have gone in this vehicle,! But I have, of late, grown weary of being in it. I wear it now like an ill-fitting outer coat. I would purchase for my next vehicle a car that would fit in my present van.

My friend also drives a mini-van. It is time for a smaller, more private car.

05 April 2006

This Is Me!

I ordered the new Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris album, This Is Us. It should arrive, well, soon. Who knows how these things work! I order a book and it doesn’t show up for weeks, and I really, really want it, and then I order a book on a whim and I’m not certain I’ll even read it, and it’s here tomorrow. Anyway, last week I downloaded from iTunes two songs placed on line as a teaser, and then I put the songs on my iPod. Pretty complicated process to have instant access in multiple formats to music I continue to love. I wish Bob were here to discuss it with me.

It was a beautiful day today, and I ran five miles this morning. As I ran through mile four, “This Is Us” the Knopfler/Harris duet played on the iPod, and I couldn’t stop smiling or running.

The song itself is about the life of a couple who started dating in high school, courted, married, had children, etc. etc. It’s a great cliché, and in this way the song has absolutely nothing to do with my life. I mean, this couple have lived the perfect life with each other as a couple, epitomized by the line, sung by Emmylou to her man: “You at the Sunday game, standing next to what’s his name.” In fact, her memories are only of him, she can’t even remember what’s his name’s name! I can’t relate to this relationship at all, and I’m not sure I know anybody who can do so.

But, the music is all me. When I hear the opening drum beat, and the drive of Knopfler’s guitar riffs, and the distinctive quality of his voice and then of hers, I am taken up with rock n’roll, and I am young again, and all I want is to dance and throw my arms up and whoop in joy. And the music is all me, and I don’t give a hoot what the lyrics are about. It’s a great paradox, I think. That I can’t connect at all to the lyrics, they are some fantasy, and someone else’s life, but the music resides absolutely central to my being. I love it, I breathe it, I can’t stop moving to it and with it and because of it. And I am so happy in it. Today’s running I recalled moments with the Grateful Dead, trucking along wearing scarlet begonias, and trying to get back to Tennessee Jed. When I was the environment. Running with Knopfler and Harris I was weightless, and care-full, and free. This is Me, I thought.