Wolves and bears throw their noses into the wind with a purposeful thrust and an almost sixth sense of something familiar. Sometimes it’s the smell of danger, sometimes the safety of home and for the most fortunate; it’s the trace scent of one more day of unbridled freedom. What makes their world wild of course is the risk involved in never knowing for sure which one of the three they are truly sensing. Eagles and hawks bend their wings into warm updrafts with a genetic-coded memory of where it will take them. But winds, like life, can be fickle. Sometimes the wind leads them to the spaces above a blue-green mountain river full of trout or salmon. And sometimes, it carries them into wide open peril, for the lessor among us to take pot shots from drunken corners. But like the wolf or the bear, if those feathered fliers are fortunate enough, the wind leads them to new heights of freedom.
Clearly, the world of a wild animal is a harsh one. In fact, it’s an almost binary life compared to ours, especially in terms of living and dying. At the same time, animals seem to have infinite amounts of majesty and grace, lending themselves more easily to allegory than do their human counterparts. But I feel a bit like the wolf, the bear and the bird of prey sometimes, don’t you? Family, work, friendship, passion, take your pick. None of us can escape the moments of insecurity, danger and outright thrill that is life. It’s that gut feeling we get when we walk into a space that we don’t belong in. It’s the hair standing up on the nape of our necks as we sense the tide beginning to turn for the better or for the worse. It’s that electric adrenalin shock down our spines and the nausea hangover from the anxiety of nearly falling off a cliff, but at the last-minute, finding stable ground. Ground big enough to stand on and to spread your feet out wide in a steady and accomplished stance. The kind of ground to build a life upon, a career upon, or even a touchstone on which to stand and start all over again.
Familiarity, because of past mistakes or past triumphs, seems the most inviting of all grounds. Tonight Runaway Home is searching for such a safe and familiar ground. Like the wolf, the bear, the eagle and the hawk, our noses are thrust into uncertain winds and our arms are outstretched, reaching for a warm updraft. We are searching for that place to begin again. We know it well because we have built music upon it before and then felt so embolden that we eventually ventured far beyond it. We know the way. It’s just up ahead through the darkness. We are getting close now. I can smell it hanging in the air, like smoke from an old campfire. Home.
Mark Elliott – Runaway Home
“It’s the Music That Makes Us Smile”
*Special thanks and a clink of the Lagavulin glass to my pal Cole Bruce for the borrowed blog title from our co-written song “Smoke from an Old Campfire.”