June 18, 2007

on mountains and memories and lyrics

Several years ago I spent seven weeks during two summers working at my childhood Bible camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Sometimes on my days off, I would borrow my friend's car and explore the dirt roads that snaked between the mountain, cutting memories into my mind and leading me to breathtaking overlooks, private residences, and the all too frequent dead-end. I credit this car-loaning friend with introducing me to the Indigo Girls. This duo writes songs more closely resembling poetry than any other songwriters I've ever heard. As I traveled the endless options of left and rights and forks-in-the-road, these women would provide a soundtrack that, for me, became synonymous with those two years of my life.

Today my iPod played for me Love's Recovery. Though this was probably the 500th time I had heard this song, I admit this is the first time I've ever bothered to listen to the words. I think I have a new favorite IG song:

During the time of which I speak
It was hard to turn the other cheek
To the blows of insecurity
Feeding the cancer of my intellect
The blood of love soon neglected
Lay dying in the strength of it’s impurity.

Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
They’ve all gone and left each other
In search of fairer weather.
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love’s recovery.

There I am in younger days, star gazing
Painting picture perfect maps
Of how my life and love would be,
Not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection
My compass, faith in love’s perfection
I missed ten million miles of road I should have seen.

Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
Left each other one by one on the road to fairer weather.
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love’s recovery.

Rain soaked and voice choked
Like silent screaming in a dream
I search for our absolute distinction
Not content to bow and bend
To the whims of culture that swoop like vultures
Eating us away, eating us away
Eating us away to our extinction

Oh how I wish I were a trinity
So if I lost a part of me
I’d still have two of the same to live.
But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal
As specks of dust we’re universal
To let this love survive
Would be the greatest gift that we could give.

Tell all the friends who think they’re so together
That these are ghosts and mirages
All these thoughts of fairer weather.
Though it’s storming out I feel safe within the arms
Of love’s discovery.

That camp meant a lot to me as I was growing up, and still means so much today. My father baptized me on that mountain, and I maintain friendships to this day with people I met there almost 20 years ago.

I love the way the random encore of any Indigo Girls song will take me back to that mountain of my youth, will turn the climate hot and humid, and will put me back on a dirt road in search of my dreams.


At 10:06 AM, Blogger chez béz said...

That's a beautiful post.


At 5:06 PM, Anonymous john h said...

what the mighty Bez said.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger holly said...

...and Holly makes three. *sigh*

At 5:57 PM, Blogger julie said...

Two of my favorite things in the whole world...Camp Wamava and The Indigo Girls...we are kindred spirits and I didn't even know it. Yes, you have taken me back.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't even know which IG songs i have heard, I wouldn't recognize a title, maybe the music of their most pop one.

aren't you glad God gave us the power and blessing of memory?



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