Archive | August, 2014

Tangled Glory

27 Aug

Commuting sucks.

Commuting is evil.

It wastes gas, and time, and torches the environment.

If the traffic’s bad (and it generally is along my route), commuting can grate your soul like a hunk of 5-year-old Canadian cheddar.

But over the years, folks have made helpful suggestions. Get books on tape! Turn the radio up loud and sing along! Turn the radio off and meditate! Make phone calls to loved ones (my favorite).

In fact, while I generally hate commuting with all my being, I have enjoyed some transcendent moments on the road. I remember once, many springtimes ago, I made my usual weekly call back home, to California. I spoke with Mom. I was in a mood – a grateful one. I thanked her for everything she had done for me, including giving birth (yeah, it got weird). I don’t know exactly why I was in such an effusive mood. I just was. And I said all the stuff we *should* say to our loved ones but, in some cases, never get the chance.

It was the last time I ever spoke to her.

Less than one week later, sitting at my desk at work, I received a phone call from my sister Angela. Our mom died, she said. They’re taking her out of the house now.

I fell silent and managed to say, Okay. Thanks Angie.

I’m sure it sounds like I must be making this up. The storyline is too neat and tidy. But that’s exactly how it happened. And were I not commuting that day, I might not have made that phone call. And if I hadn’t made that phone call, I might not have been able to say the things I really wanted to say to Mom before she died.

My point? Commuting isn’t always evil and horrible. (Not many things are *always* anything.)

Commutes can be a good time to let your mind wander – to make connections. To recall. To imagine. To let love swell up in your heart for the people who make life worth living. To make room for gratitude (in between flipping off all the assholes, of course). To laugh. To talk to yourself (under cover of “hands free” phone calls)…

In that spirit, I pulled out the trusty iPhone during a recent commute and shot some footage. Figured what the hell. Just held that sucker up and recorded the passing scenery.

I got home that night and ran it through the computer, and watched it. Nothing too spectacular.

But suddenly, my eyes got hooked.  I saw little details I’d never seen – colors, shapes, movements that appeared to belong to someone else’s day. But they belonged to mine. I had just stopped seeing them years ago.

Funny how that happens. With time, the wondrous becomes the familiar, and the familiar becomes the invisible. But it doesn’t become any less wondrous. We just need to look at it again, more closely, from a different angle.

That’s what I attempted to do when putting together this video for my new song.

It’s kind of a mash-up of my commute, and some of the people and images that sometimes run through my mind on a good day’s drive.

Of course, many of my nearest and dearest aren’t in this montage. I just culled it together quickly from images on my hard drive and Facebook accounts. So if you’re not in it, please don’t think I left you out on purpose. I can think of a dozen people right off my head who should be in here.

Anyway. I suppose if there’s any connective theme here between the images and the music, it’s gratitude. It’s also loss. It’s reaching middle age and seeing the whole view from the top of the roller coaster. There’s sadness in that, of course. At one time, the sadness drove me to drink oceans of Old Loudmouth.

Now it drives me to do dangerous things like filming with my iPhone at 70 miles per hour.

So without further ado, here it is. Tangled Glory.