Saturday’s Theme Music

Thinking about disasters as I was walking yesterday. Australia is struggling to catch a break this year, going from bushfires to rain to flooding. Indonesia continues having a tough time, quakes in Puerto Rico, and flooding in Chicago.

Then there’s the snow. A winter storm passed through here, giving us a couple inches. Trudging through the aftermath, we’re grateful because it helps the snowbanks, an important source of summer water, even while many mildly rue and curse the snow. Come on, it’s snow, and disrupts our easy ways and pleasantries with its cold intrusion.

It’s impressive how tiny flakes can add up. Our flakes went from normal or average sized to supersized flakes, back to normal before dropping into tiny. All still added up.

These thoughts took me to a Kate Bush 2011 song, “50 Words for Snow”. I enjoy her but I’m mostly aware of this song because Stephen Fry is the one giving the words. Fry delivers them like he’s tasting the expressions. Then Kate goes on with a chorus, “Come on, man,” telling him how many more words he has to go. I don’t hear this song often, originally hearing it by chance on NPR (“Is that Stephen Fry?”) but have since listened to it on the ‘puter, trying to understand all the words for snow. I find it satisfying and contemplative.

Like snow.

St. Asphalta

Many are familiar with St. Asphalta. Her origins began after motorized transportation such as cars were developed and grew popular. Although her exact heritage and origins are shrouded in exhaust gases, one popular belief attributes her early beginnings to the first automobile accident fatalities.

A benevolent god (she eschews being referred to as ‘goddess’ as an outmoded and unnecessary distinction based on gender), St. Asphalta is most associated with parking. People typically pray to her, sometimes making a sacrifice (such as buying her a beverage, such as coffee or tea) when they need a parking space.

But limiting St. Asphalta to parking overlooks the many ways this modern god can help. Did you know that St. Asphalta’s realms and powers extend beyond mere parking issues? St. Asphalta relates to everything involved with wheeled transportation and their systems, processes, and issues. For example, although you might be walking, St. Asphalta is the god to address when you’re crossing a street. She’s the one who’ll wake the drivers up and drive them to notice you and provide you with the right-of-way.

Likewise, St. Asphalta should be contacted for safety when there’s a traffic accident, or the one to appeal to for help during road construction, congestion, and traffic jams. Appeal to St. Asphalta when you have car troubles such as a flat tire, or your car has been stolen.

She’s a good god to know. Like a car, she doesn’t demand a lot, but she must be given her due. If she’s not given it, then, like a car, she’ll let you down just when you need her most.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Well, time was up.

Past ‘up’.

I was supposed to have departed the fix about fifteen minutes before, so I was now behind my schedule. Couldn’t help it. Couldn’t stop writing. Coffee was gone, butt was uncomfortable, and my sciatic nerve was causing pain issue from being perched on the coffee shop’s new hard chairs. All the signs were aligned, time to go, mo-fo.

But —

Yes. Closing up with a stern order, go now, I packed it all up, strapped on the backpack, and headed into the sunshine. It was doing little good against the wintry air, but it was in the low 40s, a better place to be than, say, single digits that some in Alaska are enduring, and it’s better than Australia’s fires and blazing heat. So, couldn’t complain.

Walking up the hill, the distinctive piano playing of the Moody Blues cover of “Go Now” (1964) arrived in my stream. It’s a wondrous juxtaposition when the thing you’ve been doing, memories of places and events, and what you’re now doing come together in a perfectly mellow mood. I usually need a beer, a glass of wine, cup of coffee, or the toke of a joint to arrive in such a state.

But here I was, just me and the small town, with myself and music in my head, cold in the air, and sunshine on the other side of the valley.

 

 

Friday’s Theme Music

Still raining.

Still walking in it.

Still fun — or pleasant — but a little less so than yesterday or the day before.

Smoke was rising from the hillside, leftover from the controlled burns in the watershed the other day. But I thought, yeah, maybe someone set fire to the rain.

So then I was thinking about Adele’s song, “Set Fire to the Rain” (2011), a powerful, powerful song about love, relationships, and re-birth. I (probably like many) enjoy her refrain:

But there’s a side to you that I never knew, never knew
All the things you’d say, they were never true, never true
And the games you’d play, you would always win, always win

h/t to MetroLyrics.com

That’s what you find as you go through relationships, the pieces that aren’t revealed, whose revelations (when found) fundamentally shift your thoughts (and feelings) about the other, leaving you to ask yourself (as you search), what do I do?

Sometimes you walk on, sometimes you stay, but the relationship has been changed.

Thursday’s Theme Music

It was a rainy night so I started humming the Eurythmics song, “Here Comes the Rain Again” (1983). So sorry they broke up but bands have their own cycles of life, death, and creation.

I enjoyed the construction and sensibilities of these lines in the song:

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion

I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you?

h/t Metrolyrics.com

I happened to be walking in the open wind and remembering walking in the rain, alone, something that I enjoy. A sharp cold wind was knifing across my cheeks, and I breathed it all in with joy, satisfaction, and nostalgia. Then the clouds broke and there was that brill full moon, coming on like a spotlight. With clouds skipping past the moon’s surface and the wind quickening, it seemed like the moon sprinted across the sky, a trick of the mind. Clouds closed over the moon, and the rain came again.

Is it raining with you?

Monday’s Theme Music

I always find this song, “Dancing with Myself” by Billy Idol (1980) an exuberant, uplifting song. Sure, it’s a (mildly) cynical statement about being alone in a crowd and preferring your own company over your friends.

My version, of course, is “Writing for Myself”. You know, you write these novels and they go nowhere but storage media or a stack of paper. I was thinking it more in amusement than in dejection; well, there’s nothing to lose and nothing to prove when I’m writing for myself, oh, oh, a-oh.

Saturday Theme Music

I was picking out the clothes to wear this morning when I remembered a 1983 Jackson Browne favorite, “For A Rocker”:

“I got a shirt so unbelievably right, I’m gonna take it out and wear it tonight, for a rocker.”

Only, I sang, “For a walker,” because I was dressing to go walking, and that’s the sort of butthead things that I do. It did set me up for today’s music, an upbeat song that excellent for singing in my head as I walk.

“I’ll tell you something that I have found out, whatever you think life is about, whatever life may hold in store, things will happen that you won’t be ready for.”

Yeah, I think often about how life blindsides me — “I never saw it coming.” Not alone in that, I think. Conversations planned in my head spun away in unimagined ways. I’m trying to be ready for the weather though, checking through rain gear, sunglasses, gloves, tissues, for walking.

“Don’t have to feed them, they don’t eat, they have power supplies in the soles of their feet.”

Well, that’s not me. I eat. No power supplies in my feet, just some callouses. Still a good song.

The Waves

Stressed and blessed

encouraged and discouraged

he’s riding the waves of the day

Angry and numb

frustrated and feeling dumb

she’s riding the waves of the day

cascading and rising

falling and sliding

the waves lift you up and

take you under

man and woman

no matter skin or order

all of us ride the waves of the day

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