|me in my VW Rabbit- 1990s|
yes, I already shared this photo, so what?
I have not been singing in the car much in the last two decades and as such I listen to less music per week. I switched to audio books around 1999-2000. I don't have an accurate measure of exactly when I started listening to audio books but that's probably close. In fact, I have taken to listening to audio books when doing chores around the house or in the yard, doing dishes and kitchen clean up, walking the dog, on bike rides, and while driving. Pretty much, any time I can fill the void with an audio book, I do so.
But when you were actively dying, Mom, I abandoned my audio books and resumed my old habit of singing in the car as therapy to get me through the most intense grief as I was watching you die.
I used to sing in the car all the time. I remember when I first drove to Kalamazoo College for freshman orientation listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall on my brand new remote cassette player, as in it sat on the floor under the dash.
I used to keep a constant of stream of music going in my life, not just in the car. But in the 1990s, I found that I was obsessing a great deal about stupid crap. I was not singing along so much anymore, and I was not using the time in the car for something productive like thinking through story elements, characters, and content for the novel on which I was working. So, I discovered audio books. There was a little bit of a learning curve to train my mind to focus, and I still find my mind wanders from time to time (the paper copy of the book helps with this and I always keep it on hand to consult, review, and mark my place). As such, singing in the car became a rare thing. In the last few years, I have only really done it while traveling with Liesel.
But when you were dying, Mom, I took a two (maybe three) week hiatus from audio books, not that I could have concentrated anyway. I did a lot of singing. It was cathartic.
So, yesterday, my head was full of work stuff and I need emotional release. My current audio book is hardly gripping, so I decided to sing in the car on the way to teach in Benton Harbor. I sang for an hour, and it felt really good.
This reminded me of something my friend Glenn Codere proposed: seven songs in seven days and a description of what they mean to you. So, here goes.
I love Peter Gabriel. Many Peter Gabriel songs have helped me over the years, and I have sung them proudly, even dancing around my room as I cranked the volume. "The Washing of the Water" from his 1992 album Us quickly became one of my top five Peter Gabriel songs after its release.
I have used this song to navigate the deep trenches of many painful times in my life, but there's been no time more painful than your death, Mom. None of my break ups matches this pain, and so this song takes on new relevance and significance, especially the last line "bring me something to take this pain away."
Readers who are here, if you have never read the lyrics, READ THEM as you listen to the song. Let me share all that with you, Mom. So beautiful...
Peter Gabriel's "Washing of the Water" Lyrics
River, river, carry me on
Living river, carry me on
River, river, carry me on
To the place where I come from
So deep, so wide, will you take me on your back for a ride
If I should fall, would you swallow me deep inside
River, show me how to float, I feel like I'm sinking down
Thought that I could get along
But here in this water, my feet won't touch the ground
I need something to turn myself around
Going away, away toward the sea
River deep, can you lift up and carry me
Oh roll on through the heartland
'Til the sun has left the sky
River, river, carry me high
'Til the washing of the water, make it all alright
Let your waters reach me, like she reached me tonight
Letting go, it's so hard, the way it's hurting now
To get this love untied
So tough to stay with this thing, cos if I follow through
I face what I denied
I'll get those hooks out of me
And I'll take out the hooks that I sunk deep in your side
Kill that fear of emptiness, that loneliness I hide
River, oh river, river running deep
Bring me something that will let me get to sleep
In the washing of the water will you take it all away
Bring me something to take this pain away
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 114 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1510.26 - 20:10
and again - 1510.27 - 8:55