Thursday, November 30, 2017

Billy Joel & Other Thoughts

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc.
Trying to make sense of anything while "Allentown" is mercilessly on repeat in your head is virtually impossible, so obviously that means I have to listen to it and a bunch of other 80's jams while I write.

On "Allentown": I love the train sounds as part of the rhythm, I love the melody, I love the runs, I love the whole thing. It's just a great sing-your-lungs-out song, especially if you're a harmony fiend like me. Sort of makes me regret hating on Billy Joel back in like June or something, watching a Tiger Lily gift get battered by a gaggle of little kids one late Sunday afternoon waiting for food in an overcrowded Chili's. A Billy Joel song came on in the restaurant, and my friend and I started hating on him for various reasons. His were musical, mine were personal.

In the mornings following New Year's Day, 2016, my mom would blast his song "My Life" as she picked out what she wanted to keep out of all the things that were once hers and Dad's. I can remember it waking me up as she sang along in her not-unpleasant but distinctly untrained voice, an anthem of sorts as dishes and bubble wrap clanged and popped in the background.

I don't think I'll ever like that song, but it's fine.

None of this has been in my head for a long time; I've been occupied by my church family, creative ventures, and other responsibilities. But she wants to see me soon, on her birthday in fact. She'll be watching my nephew that day, so it's a two birds/one stone situation, and I guess I'm gearing up for it. And my brain is looping "Allentown".

I'm not mad, I just have to learn how to not crave things she can't give me from her specifically. I have a beautiful Momma right now that sings like she's still in a Baptist choir, lifts like she's carried heavy things all her life, and loves with a steadfastness that mirrors the Lord. I wouldn't exchange her presence in my life for anything; she's my hero. She sits beside me, now, walking me through these feelings.

"Go in with your eyes wide open and your feet on the ground," she says.

But when I hug my own tiny mom and remember the feel of her cold, dry hands on my feverish skin, her thin lips and the way her hair sways in a ponytail when she walks, her heartbeat in my ears before a nap, and see her smile on my face in pictures, I know I came from her, and it makes me wonder why a mother would want to unravel from her daughter. I know the answer, but I don't like to think about it. I just wait for her to text me.

First World problems. ;)

When I was little, I used to lie awake and wonder who I'd choose to go with should my parents divorce. I would stress myself out to tears over this imaginary situation. One night in particular, I woke my dad up with my sniffling, and he appeared at my bedside to ask, "What's the matter? Why are you still awake? Have a bad dream?"

I told him what was wrong and he ran his huge hand over my hair, dried my eyes, and said sincerely, "Sweetie, your mom and I are never going to get a divorce, I promise; you shouldn't worry about things that aren't going to happen."

*looks at the camera like I'm on The Office*

On "Kyrie" by Mr. Mister, the other song stuck in my head: The almost unintelligible chorus of this song soars with classic 80's glory, taking your voice and emotions with it, especially on a cold night with the windows down, the wind chilling you, and a ring of rainbow around the waxing moon. 

It goes like this:
"Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I'm going will you follow?
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light"
Kyrie eleison is not, as I thought, a girl, but in fact a plea which comes from Late Latin and Late Greek, which means, "Lord, have mercy."



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