stress, strain, commitment required
stress, strain, commitment required
Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.
We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction.
Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.
Here is my post.
On a dark and dreary day, I was waiting for a train. The sky was overcast, the kind of weather where it appears to be Autumn, but in actuality is April. The kind of weather that looks like a downpour, but restrains itself to on the verge of a downpour for the rest of the day.
In terms of conversations, it wasn’t much. What got me was what wasn’t said as well as what I heard. Two people, a man and woman. Both had tears in their eyes and on their faces. They were in an embrace, and she turned to him and said, I’ll never forget.” He took his handkerchief and wiped her eyes. She grabbed his hand and wiped the tears on his cheek with the handkerchief. The pull of their feelings for each other was undeniable and I wanted to stay in the presence of their moment as much as they did not want to leave it. It was as if they were writing a story I had to know more about.
I’ve thought of them, since I first bore witness to some kind of powerful, possibly heartbreaking leave-taking. I’ve considered the reasons they were not going to be together.
In my mind I hear the conversation that did not take place. I’ve wondered if they were long lost siblings, separated at birth and reuniting. Ive wondered about their situation. Was it about meeting the love of your life and not being able to commit to them for reasons of employment, engagement, or fear of commitment? I’ve wondered if they were once in love and had been unable to work out differences. I’ve wondered if they were having an affair.
Various conversations play in my head around the scene I saw.
She: I can’t believe we’ve found each other.
He: They told me the records were sealed. How did you do it?
She: It doesn’t matter I just knew I wanted to meet you after all these years. I thought that we’d never find each other. You are my baby brother.
He: This day will always stay with me. I wish we didn’t live a continent away from each other.
She I’ll never forget…
He: If we’d only been able to work out the commute.
She: You know I can’t leave my family, they need me now.
He: wearliy I understand, and support you.
She: I’ll forever hold you in my heart.
He: Words will never express how much you mean to me.
She: I’ll never forget…
She: I love you
He: We will never be a good fit. You will always be searching for something, always trying to climb the corporate ladder.
She: And you will always be married.
He: I can’t leave my wife.
She: I’ll never forget…
Whoever they are, where ever they are, whatever the circumstances, I’ll never know. They inform my life, when I recall them, because their lives were deep rich, full and complicated like most of ours. Because despite whatever sadness invaded their situation the love seemed to overpower it. Because I don’t know the end of their story, my own story, or many of the stories I get involved in. Because they said so little and yet did not need words to say so much.
I’ll never forget…
Wearing pastel shades
greeting the resurrection
My initial reaction is: impossible choice. Music is deeply personal and each day offers me the chance to choose new and old favorites again and again. Additionally, in my work I am always choosing music for rituals, life events and other activities. While I appreciate music that is specified for such things, I believe that popular/secular music has the potential to be used in ritual and try to choose songs that reflect the lives of the people I encounter. All music, even the types that may not resonate with me are offerings to the universe. Art is our act of offering our best selves to the spirit and if you believe; to God or a power greater than ourselves.
Music often expresses what I cannot, in a way I cannot. Although my undergraduate degree is in music, I utilize music as an avocation or adjunct to my work. I love that a song can transport me to a place I was when I was five or fifteen or twenty five, when the first few notes come drifting through the speakers. Music lulled my children to sleep as I sang “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof to them at night. Music takes me through seemingly insufferable workouts cheering me on. It accompanies me on long road trips. It lifts me up when I’m down or allows me some minutes of wallowing when I am processing the events that took me down. In the span of a playlist I can travel back in time and relive favorite moments all through a song. These reasons scratch the surface of why this writing assignment seems challenging to me.
So my twist is that for today, these three songs are the ones I choose from my infinitely overwhelming and exhilarating musical tarot deck. The music speaks for itself. I’m approaching this as a three song reading of my life today. Faith, Hope and Love. Today’s playlist is exactly that. Tomorrow’s will be different and might include Bright Eyes, Gogol Bordello, and Leonard Bernstein. I won’t know until I wake up.
Faith: Faith cannot grow without doubt. This song expresses that sentiment for me in a way I hope to embody faith. It is a struggle, a joy, a challenge and an important part of my life.Faith is about kind action and even in my struggles I am no less obligated to try to make positive change. Billiy Joel- River of Dreams
Hope: Warren Zevon is better known for many other songs. To me this song is about hope and about caring for those who care for us. It is an expression of gratitude. I hear it and sing it as a prayer. Warren Zevon Don’t Let us Get Sick
Love: My Uncle introduced this song and the whole show- Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, to me when I was a teenager. I picked this version, rather than my beloved one from the show because I hear this song as an anthem or hymn and because I still dream of a world where the words of this song become true. Jacques Brel If We Only Have Love
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