Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Funny how a melody sounds like a memory." Eric Church

I was driving down I10 this evening, wipers making their own music to the sound of rainfall while I listened to Neon Steeple for the first time.
Now, those who know me well are probably scratching your head, wondering... Crowder's new cd has been out for over a year and this huge fan is just listening to it?  Well, not exactly; I'm familiar with a few tracks that have captured a lot of air time, but I've avoided listening to the entire set. When your husband plays Come and Listen at his daughter's wedding, when your man holds your hand and your broken heart in a crowded Waco church wrapped in this man's music...well, the emotional attachment is profound and quite possibly, dangerous.  No, I have not been ready to merge David Crowder's new chapter with mine—until this rainy night.  
It was worth the wait, though; Neon Steeple is a refreshing departure from standard conference-style Praise and Worship. I like that it's sometimes raw, unpretentious, and personal. 
So back to the ride home...I'm humming, even tapping (maybe, a little stomping) along with the songs, when my soul is hijacked by these lyrics.
  My sweet Lord, desperately
                          I am alone, and afraid to be                      
    My love is gone, so far away

        I need my sweet Lord's help today
Can you imagine?  That's my story!  Again and again, spiritually and presently, on a human level... 
And then, the sweet voice of Emmylou Harris enters. I didn't need to read credits to know who offered such angelic harmony as I'd listened to her sing many times throughout our marriage.  Oh Emmylou, my Rob held you high along with your equals, Linda Ronstadt and Karla Bonoff.  Do you know how many nights we spent with you and your posse of artists, watching you perform on Austin City Limits?  If I close my eyes, I might just hear Rob singing harmony in his funny falsetto. You beautiful ladies made our story richer and our records worn.
Someone once said, 'It takes just one good song to stir up a thousand memories.'  David and Emmylou, you did just that, maybe too well. Author Joan Didion is right, "Marriage is memory, Marriage is time."  I must add, Grief finds me in this constant tug-of-war— unpacking memories, repacking a marriage.  

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