Saturday, June 23, 2012

Echoes of a Yawp, Returned

I am not a religious person, although at times I've yearned for the sense of community and security I see in people of strong faith. I have, in fact, investigated faiths from Judaism to Buddhism and been a participant in a variety of Christian rituals. None of them make sense to me. Instead I have cobbled together a very personal spirituality based in my Judeo-Christian roots and shaped by my travels and experiences.

That said, there are times when I "sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world" seeking answers to inchoate questions. I often find an echo returns to me in the form of heretofore unfamiliar music. At that precise moment, that exact piece of music provides me the guidance, or solace, or joy, I need just when I am most truly lost.

Being pregnant with my son was a whirlwind of emotions. The country was staggering under the memory of the 9/11 attacks. I was overjoyed and terrified by the prospect of raising a child, especially in a world in which random violence was so prevalent. In the midst of this, my husband was stereotypically distant. He told me repeatedly that he didn't understand my fretting, and that women had been having babies for millions of years, so why was I worried? I became frantic, unable to sleep, panicking that I had made a mistake. And then a song started running through my mind. The lyrics told me "it just takes some time/Little girl you're in the middle of the ride/Everything, everything will be just fine/Everything, everything will be alright, alright". It took me weeks to find the song. I don't know when or how I first heard it, but whenever I became upset it would pass through my mind, and I knew that we'd be okay.

Many years later I found myself in an untenable position at work, and after much soul searching I decided to quit. I wrote my letter of resignation and sobbed in the car on my way in to the office, until a song came on the radio, whose lyrics were "You know some people/They just won't understand/They just won't understand these things". It felt like absolution.

It's funny how these things work. I have a new song I've been listening to for a week, and it makes me smile every time. And once again, I think the universe is speaking to me. I am grateful for the message.

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