Taking A Ride with the Devil
Could be any of a million things, but I just don't find myself quite yet in the holiday spirit. Things have been downright hectic, and even now as I type there are about a hundred other things I feel obliged to take care of. Things simply never stop. Consequently, my ability to string together meaningful messages for this blog has been not at an all-time low, but certainly lower than usual.
It's not all bad. It's not all good. It's just constant motion. I can't even say I'm running from anything. I feel that I am running to something....to the end of this search or that one, the end of an uncertain period, the beginning of a new epoch, to a time when I can better blend life's work and loves.
On three occasions in the past week, I was taken back deep into my past. Somehow my old stomping grounds have been resurfacing. In the last ten years, I'd have to say that I learned we spend the first 25 or 30 years trying to get away from where we came from, and the rest of our lives trying to get back.
The first was a conversation with someone who works for a state history agency. Somehow we got on the topic of the contribution of the Quakers, and I mentioned that the home I grew up in had an underground railroad tunnel in the cellar. Later that week marked the 30th Anniversary of my father's death. And I was introduced to someone who has family back in the almost-holler not far from where I grew up.
All in a week's time. So I'm paying a little attention.
These times, when we propel ourselves too far forward at such a pace but yet are so clearly reminded, if not downright notified, of our nature and our roots, is like a ride with the devil. We are tempting fate in these times, the fate of our psyche to be able to reconcile the life we are trying to put on with the life we were born to live. It's a winless race, but people run it every day, sometimes me included.
This dark beautiful tune could be the soundtrack to such a race. In my imagination when I hear this song, the opening is almost the music you might associate with a night ride on a river or down a canal past drooping willows, the kind of ride you might take to get away from the home guard if you were running from your master (and oh, how we all run from our masters). It breaks open into a fast paced, full string band theme the way you might break free and run across an open field in search of ultimate freedom. Whether you make it or not is uncertain. It always is, as uncertain as freedom.
But there's no good in not trying. That's letting the devil win. And makes you a prisoner for life, a prisoner of your life.
So go on and join Dirk Powell in A Ride with the Devil. Think about what you've been running from, and running to. And make sure you have good tunes with you.