Saturday, October 14, 2006

Only Passing Through

Hello, Leipzig!

(Sorry. I just get a kick that someone in Leipzig stopped by. Danke! Haben sie Bluegrass? Gut! Wilkommen, alle.)

For the rest of you, that should confirm, if it wasn't already evident, that one thing is pretty clear: I am a bit of a freak. The last couple of days have kind of reminded me of this. Ok, that's not really true. Today it hit me the way that horrible gripping fear hits you just before you fall on your ass when you hit that patch of ice on your front steps.

So I have to change my life. Now.

And I don't mean dumbing myself down or becoming more mainstream so that I can play nice with others or pretend to like the same things everyone else does. I don't mean bending over even MORE often, keeping my mouth shut MORE often (hell, I get paid to keep it open so I should probably trust myself the way the people I work for trust me), looking the other way MORE often, sitting on my hands MORE often. I mean, I gotta be around more freaks like me.

My boss's grandmother used to tell him that it was expected that children would keep "profitably busy." What an excellent notion. I have been of late, most profitably busy, but I do find that being alone in the middle of a cornfield at times with two young kids at your side, you lose track of time and direction and sometimes projects. But I realized today that just isn't going to work. All irons in the fire, at all times, come what may.

I remember praying. I remember, when I believed, how I could just let it all go and pretend something or someone else would handle these issues while I toiled away at the dishes and the laundry and the homework and the bad dreams. I wish I could fall back on that now, fall back on something, anything, that would just ease the burden and give me a little direction. I miss that.

Consciousness is really hard work. Purposeful living is really demanding. It requires us to make a commitment. Once the purpose in us takes ahold of us by making itself known, even vaguely, living any other way is disingenuous, inauthentic. Ultimately a cop-out.

How many more times will I come up with an excuse to be where I am rather than where I should be? How hard will it get before it gets easier? How much lonelier before I find community? How much worse before it gets better? How deep is my well, and when it's empty, what will I do? It feels pretty dry right now. Do I remember how to pray for rain?

The haunting first bar or two of this song by Claire Lynch (I warned you readers how I would be shameless in my props) on her New Day cd puts me in a place to be ready for this song. I can barely sing, still getting over this cough thing, but this album, and this song in particular, kind of go easy on my mind and I force myself to sing through it. If you read Claire's myspace bio, or if you're lucky as me, shake hands or look her in the eyes, you'll know she's traveled quite a road. She has inspired me, and reminds me it's not over til it's over, never say never, "worst case scenario, the world just keeps on turning...best case scenario, pretty much the same..."

We're only passing through. And I'm not wasting my ride.

Hey, Europe fans, THANK YOU FOR LOVING BLUEGRASS! Thank you for being even more unusual, more daring, more dedicated because it's not as accessible where you are. I would love to come join you in May! I'd only be passing through but we would have fun!

Only Passin' Through
by Claire Lynch

Wooden porches
Run down houses
Mildewed sofas
And grownup yards

Drivin' past 'em
I am reminded
Of where we come from
And where we are

We are only passin' through
Like it's all we have to do
And for all it means
To me and you
We are only passin' through

Up on Wall Street
They shape the curve
Of what we have
And what we deserve
I don't buy it
And they don't care
Can't say which of us
Is the most aware

We are only passin' through
Like it's all we have to do
And for all it means
To me and you
We are only passin' through

Worst case scenario
The world just keeps on turning
Best case scenario
Pretty much the same

And all that seems to matter
Is the scramble for the credit
And the blame

Big old houses
Tall, white columns
Iron gates to keep what's bad outside
Driving past 'em
I am reminded
The price we pay
Just to enjoy the ride

We are only passin' through
Like it's all we have to do
And for all it means
To me and you
We are only passin' through
Only passin' through

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