Friday, March 6, 2015

A Life Lesson From David Grey

I'm running about 20 paces behind my mom. She never stops to walk. I wonder if we are about to take a break because we finally begin to slow our pace. She shouts, "lunges!" and begins to bend her knees low to the pavement. I groan and drag myself behind her, but every time she looks back I slap on a smile and dip my body up and down like a buoy bobbing in the water. 

"Mom, hold up, PLEASE!" I yell as I power walk to catch up with her. "I need to fix my pony tail." It is the quickest excuse I can come up with to buy me resting time. 

"Here, listen to this." She hands me her iPhone with a song cued up. "Only if you listen to this." I hand her mine with the album I was listening to during our morning tortu- er, jog. 

I was listening to my favorite electro-pop artist of the moment called Sylvan Esso. I chose a song called "Play It Right", a minimal, electronic tune frosted with folk melodies. It pumps me up, has great rhythms. 

I replace my headphones now attached to my mother's running music of choice. A brassy, older man's shimmery soft lyrics sing to me. Musicians play perfect, slow-tempo'd music with a glittery Nashville vibe. 

He sings,

Tell the repo man
and the stars above
you're the one I love…

Immediately I feel my breathe slow down, and it feels like the blood running through my veins slows down as well. 

I look back at my mom. She has a goofy grin on her face. She shakes her head slightly. 

"Our music is so different." She laughs. We jog a few more steps.
"Well, we experienced a completely different run this morning, didn't we?" I say. 

Perfect summers night
not a wind that breathes 
Just the bullets whispering gentle
'mongst the new green leaves...

I notice for the first time the swaying corn stalks in the field we had just passed, rows and rows of honey-colored grains. I see the mountains with caps of white in the distance, outlining our pristine little valley where I grew up. I feel the sun on my skin. It's not blazing warm like California sun, but it's trying.

The music nudges me to live outside of myself, makes me unconcerned with my problems that seemed so important and looming just moments before. Suddenly all I care about is sharing this moment with nature, with the ever-distant wisdom of the universe.

Artwork by Henck Van Bilsen
How predictable, the rushed 29-year old listening to music that backs up her worry with her future, her doubts, her past triumphs her future battles. The beat, pumping energy into her or at least keeping it steady, to get her through the day's wars. 

The wise 50-year old woman listening to music that reminds her to stay present in the moment, to enjoy each second, to connect with nature, with life, to freakin' sit still for two seconds!

Perhaps those of us a little younger could stand to pause for a moment to remember how vast the universe is, to step outside ourselves, and to remember where we came from and where we are ultimately going. 

Honestly, Meg

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