Friday, September 28, 2012

The Landslide

  I can remember the first time I ever heard the song Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.  I was so mesmerized by it that I simply HAD to own a copy of the The Dance.  I was in high school at the time and you could find the music club inserts in magazines.  I got my hands on one that allowed me to select 15 CDs for a penny.  Remember those?  I was elated to find that The Dance was one of my options.  I filled out the form as quickly as possible and dropped it in the mailbox.  For three weeks I waited.  Every day I'd pull into the driveway after school and check to see if Stevie Nicks had arrived at my house.  The day she arrived I literally ran down our VERY long driveway, up the stairs, into my room, locked the doors, put the CD in my stereo and turned the volume knob to peak capacity.  As Stevie's voice poured out of my speakers like soft smokey residue from an extinguished flame, it entered by soul and lit a fire.  It was there that I began to see just a glimmer of the woman I was created to be.

  I have long felt a deep spiritual connection with Stevie's lyrics.  Not just in Landslide.  Maybe its more that I feel some kind of kindred connection with Stevie understanding, an appreciation, an's hard to articulate.  Her music has always been soul music to me; as if her lyrics were penned with the words straight from the depth of my own heart.  It seemed so natural then, that when my life, the one I designed and created, the one I had orchestrated, began to unravel at my very finger tips, that I would turn to Stevie for release.  The more I let myself, the self I had fabricated, go, the more I was able to embrace that long lost girl within me.  My innate draw to music called to me and I knew I had to do something to stop the bleeding.

  Stevie inspired me.  In the midst of my breakdown at 30, in the fog of the impending doom of my marriage, I sought to do the only thing I knew how, find my way back to me.  I'm still far from that home and center, but closer now than I have been in the last 20 years of my life.  I was once the girl who let music live inside of me.  I played the piano and the tenor saxophone.  I'd always wanted to learn to play the guitar, but never had the instrument or the time to do so.  Eventually, I lost the desire.  Until the unraveling came.  I stumbled across that CD from high school, turned up Stevie and lost my senses on the floor of my study.  The pain of having lost my self was unbearable.  And yet, the words of Landslide...brought me down.  Down into the pit of despair where I can bawl on the floor, figure out what I'd lost in who I'd become, and decide once and for all, it was time to change...regardless of my fears.

  A couple years prior to this break, my dad had bought me a guitar.  It had lived trapped in its case, propped against my wall.  That day, I decided it was time to release...release myself from the cage I'd built around me and release the guitar from the case the kept it from me.  I took the guitar out and cried all over it.  It's a wonder the pour thing isn't warped.  In the months that have followed, I've attempted to learn, at times half-heatedly, to play it.  Most of the time, I just want to hold it.  To feel it against my chest.  To play an e and feel the music on my heart as the strings vibrate against my fingers.  Today, I woke up with the lyrics to Landslide in my head.  I held my guitar and wept.  "I've been afraid of changing 'cause I built my life around you..."  I thought of the picture of my mom that I cherish, the one where she's sitting on a rock surrounded by water holding a guitar.  I thought of my family and how musical we've always been.  I thought of my grandpa Owen who had a pension for naming everything.  And then, as I held my guitar, it was as if I could hear him say to me, "Josephine, you need to name that guitar."  He's right.  I need to name it.  I need to name the change in my life, I need to name my pain.  I need to name who I am.  I need to name WHOSE I am.  I need to name my dreams, my soul, my joys.  I need to name this guitar!!!!  And so I did.

  That's when I realized that discovering myself wasn't something for 12 months ago.  It's something that is very much for today and there is no one who can do that for me.  So today I hold my guitar and I know the best is yet to come.  And today I let Stevie remind my soul to be in harmony with God and God alone.  Today I make the lackluster yet courageous attempt to learn how to play Landslide on "Stevie".

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1 comment:

Mrs. Pedersen said...

I've listened to Ladslide so many times that I've lost count. Truly, it's an amazing song on a variety of levels.

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