I’m a walking cliché even when I’m soaked in sincerity… the truth about the truth is it isn’t going anywhere
I always mark the greatness of a road trip by the degree of voice I have left by the time I arrive home.
It used to be I never hit the streets without risk of losing my voice. Car concerts have been a staple of mine beginning with my mom, continuing with my girlfriends and then it became a private show between me my pretty Firebird. Mom’s been gone for thirty years now, my girlfriends are distant and the buzz of my little red sportster isn’t quite the same as the low rumble that once covered up my way off-key performances. Change has never been easy for me because it’s a cover song for letting go.
I’ve been carrying a lot for an awful long time, and the road was always a good place to let it all drop when I needed to. I could release just enough to keep holding on. It all began to pile on until the hills became mountains, and I was speeding downward so fast it was like my brake line had been cut.
Then I slammed into a wall. Sometimes we walk away from that, and sometimes we wish we didn’t.
Tomorrow I’ll be saying goodbye to yet another friend. The older I become, the lonelier life gets. The last three years have been blurred by tragedy, abandonment, solitude and more reflection than a wishing pond. When the darkness became real, I had to drag myself through every single day. It was of no help that many of those days included moving on and refusing to let go. I resented the endless “celebrations of life” because their lives are over but mine isn’t. Everyone now wants to pretty up a funeral but it doesn’t take the sadness away, does it?
Everyone has heard “if you love someone, set them free…” but setting them free was giving up and I haven’t ever been very good at that. Funny for a girl who lacks follow through. However, if there’s one thing I have needed to take away from the misery, it is that letting go is how we free ourselves to move forward.
The real fear comes in others giving up on me. Sometimes they don’t die; sometimes they just walk away. “When you see yourself thinking of me, of us, years from now … say you see me on the street somewhere, or remember the moments we’ve shared, will you think of us and smile?” I was asked this one blazing summer day. There were no clouds to protect me, no rain to mask my tears, and nobody to save my broken heart. I couldn’t answer because people who can’t remember the past lose their ability to see the future.
I’ve been trying these past few weeks to regain my compassion, my familiar place because, you see, I’d been letting go. It’s the be careful what you ask for syndrome; when we ask for peace, it can come in ways we may not want. I needed to heal, so I tried to shut out all of the noise. In essence, I needed to lose the person I had become. In that, I have lost time, and thoughts or stories that should have been written only now I can’t remember them. They’ve disappeared to that place that doesn’t have a name but lives inside of us all.
I recently asked that love if sad smiles counted in my memory of us. “Well, no.” came his more-logical-than-me reply. “Sad smiles are still sad.”
In the search for my not so distant self, I felt like I was driving fast but not getting too far. I’ve replaced the sadness with a numbing static. Buckle up, get down to business, and rely only on myself. Limits, labels and roadmaps have never really been my thing so trying to put myself on an advised course hasn’t taken me as far as anyone thought it should.
I found that when I stopped talking about the things that nobody wanted to hear, I didn’t like myself so much. I suddenly had become boring, ordinary, as though I’ve given in to the demands of others to be who I am never going to be.
We can wish for peace, but we need to risk sacrifice in return. We can’t ever have anything without losing something.
Last week, I went for a drive. For the first time since I can’t remember when, I gave every song everything I had in me. When I arrived home late that night, my voice was exhausted. A song will always have the power to soothe or stab me, just as any friend does.
Hope is what feeds the peace inside. It doesn’t need to be grandiose, over the top or floating on a rainbow. In letting go, sometimes the road brings us back together but to a new place. Sometimes we can revisit the places we left behind but see it in a new way, begin a new journey from the same starting point.
In every goodbye, there comes a hello; sometimes in a familiar voice.
Yesterday, I watched this movie play out on a big screen, and at the end the redheaded woman stood at the ocean in the setting sun, embracing the rugged older man and as they gazed upon each other, I felt the tug of a memory, and I smiled.
Sometimes you get what you steal. Sometimes you see things for real and sometimes sincerity feels like you’re lying…
© May 21, 2016
Lyrics: Sincerity / Miggs