As you may have noticed by now, I’ve been in a bit of a maudlin mood since attaining a job in retail. Since that time, in the last week alone, my sponsor had to let me go in order to focus on her own healing work, I got a traffic ticket while on my way to visit a pregnant friend, and my four stalwart neighboring trees were torn down.
Plus, I slammed my pinkie in a drawer.
It’s been a No good very bad day, and you can call me Alexander.
It’s been pretty bad, and even before the tree massacre, I was on the phone with a friend saying that it felt like a series of trap doors: just when you think it can’t get worse, it does. I wouldn’t be surprised for “The Big One” to hit, or my car to break down.
That said, yesterday, in a funk over the trees (read: hysterically crying over the loss of everything solid in my life — yes, perspective is a lost art), I drove my car in to work instead of taking public transportation. On came the NPR, because it’s what I usually listen to in the car.
But it wasn’t right. Sure, it’s informative and I enjoy it in a way, but it’s not fun. It’s not uplifting. Unless it’s A Prarie Home Companion.
And so I put on a CD of one of my favorite bands, playing one of their most famous live sets.
I immediately pressed through to one of my favorite songs, one I can count on as an uplifter, and as the song progressed, I turned the volume louder. And louder.
As I sat in that toll bridge traffic, I began to sing along. I began to smile.
I played a series of 4 songs, the last one on repeat as I climbed the circular parking garage. And I felt better.
I have this kind of amnesia when it comes to music: I forget that Rock Saves.
I can go for weeks without music, maybe a few songs on the radio here and there, but not volume up to 40, ear-ringing, loud singing, smile-inducing music.
I felt transformed by the end of my trip from Oakland to San Francisco. If there were another trap door opening beneath me, I felt as though the music was giving me upper body strength to cling to the sides of the trap, and hoist myself out.
The trap may be open beneath me, and it is always an option to fall in, but somehow I felt like I was climbing out of that one. That, for that morning, that previously sob-fest morning, I was not going to continue on like that.
I parked my car and walked toward my job with an actual jaunt in my step, and a bit of that subversive, “I’ve been listening to music really loud,” half-grin on my face. A cute 20-something said hi to me as I jaunted down the sidewalk.
I’ve been walking to work looking solely down at the sidewalk, internally commenting the awful smell of human waste.
Yesterday was a different morning.
Sometimes I feel like I could be diagnosed with manic-depression, the way I can swing from despair to hope! But, perhaps it’s normal. And I’ll never really know, honestly.
When things are going well enough, I never feel the need for anti-depressants, and even when they’re not going well, it’s always temporary, and not debilitating.
So, maybe, simply, Rock Saves.
Maybe, simply, I have a fount of resiliency that I only seem to find in desolate moments.
Yesterday, as I drove to work, I drove through a portal of grace.
Things are not different. All the externals remain the same.
But I have that grin on my face. And I’ve been singing in my car.