Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rearview Adjustment (Again)

It's been almost a month since my children and I took a family vacation away to Virginia for a few days. I'm just now reaching the point where I don't think about it every day. It was nice to get away, nice to get a change of location, and nice to be immersed into something we enjoy so much.





Coming back, work hit hard. The day after our return I was off to an out of town round of meetings to close down a project (successfully, thank goodness). Once back, I found myself immersed in a land I didn't know at all -- Southern California.





We are working there for one of the best run orchestras in the country. It's got great artistic leadership, great administrative leadership, and in the department for which we seek leadership, a great team. No potholes. Nothing on fire. A perfect opportunity for a seasoned and sophisticated person. It took us damn near the entire month to turn up some real candidates. We're not sure what the problem is, although since that area is one of the most expensive regions in the country in terms of cost of living, that has a lot to do with it.



Anyway, we're finally getting somewhere past that Santa Ana windstorm. But for a while we really were spinning our wheels.



When we were hitting our hardest stretch, about two weeks ago, I rarely left the office without my thoughts drifting back to our trip to Virginia. As much as I know that for the moment I am where I belong, there was part of me that needed to wander through the rolling low mountains of Western Maryland and on into a bit of Dixie. Coming home took us forever, but it was a beautiful ride. It is still in my plan to move away from here someday in the next five to ten years or so, and make some other warmer, hillier clime my permanent home. Until then, I guess I'll just have to sing about it along with this favorite from the Vol. 3 "Will the Circle" album, and think on those other scenes in my rearview mirror as we lunged over the mountains in eastern West Virginia on down through to the Tidewater. The smell of boxwood and pine, and the crunching of oyster shells underfoot as we strolled along the James. And then the slow trek home across the Blue Ridge, back to the quiet familiar hills of the lower Western Reserve.

Where home is, I still wonder.



Oh Cumberland



Fire on the asphalt, LA Freeway
Santa Ana windstorm, come blow me away
This rearview mirror could use some adjustment
Some other reflection, some other place

Oh Cumberland
I'm your faithful son
No matter where I run
I hear you call my name
The Mississippi's wide and long
From St. Paul to New Orleans
But my heart's restin' on your banks
In Tennessee

Lazy old river, not a lick of initial
Get to Kentucky, then you roll on home
If you were a highway you wouldn't go nowhere
And I wouldn't be lost and all alone

Oh Cumberland
I'm your faithful son
No matter where I run
I hear you call my name
The Mississippi's wide and long
From St. Paul to New Orleans
But my heart's restin' on your banks
In Tennessee

There's a stolen river in the San Fernando
Down in the Valley, in the shadow of Greed
But I have a memory knee deep in salvation
That old muddy water that once washed me clean


Oh Cumberland
I'm your faithful son
No matter where I runI hear you call my name
The Mississippi's wide and long
From St. Paul to New Orleans
But my heart's restin' on your banks
In Tennessee

3 Comments:

At August 01, 2007 8:05 AM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

home is not a place on a map, it is a place in your heart, a state of mind...

love,
shameless

 
At August 01, 2007 10:09 AM, Anonymous A said...

how true...home is in our hearts but how nice to be surrounded by the natural beauty that makes our hearts sing!
In five years I too may turn this car around, head for the mountains and train the mirror on my birthplace, but by no means home.
Keep singing Mandomama : )

 
At August 01, 2007 12:11 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hello,
You are both right, although I do believe place has meaning. In my case it's a quandary -- we have world class institutions including a Top 5 orchestra, but connecting with people who love the other music I love is pretty much reserved for festivals or trips South. I had an email exchange not too long ago with a member of a fairly successful bluegrass band who admitted that Cleveland is just a tough, if not impossible, market. While I can carry the stuff I love in my heart, I believe I need more contact with it both to be happy and to make a meaningful contribution.

 

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