It’s funny that I haven’t thought of our overall blog series title as being a title of an individual post yet, until today. Sometimes the most obvious of life’s offerings show up when you least expect them to, and hit with the blunt force of epiphany. Losing a hold on the obvious is one of life’s more prickly annoyances. The frustration of losing track of things is at the very least, mitigated by finally finding them again, and in some special cases, being afforded reminders of a greater purpose. I should know. I lose things all the time.
Car keys, wallets, watches and my damn shoes tend to be my favorite items to lose on a daily basis. My frantic, last-minute search usually ends with finding them in old familiar places, like my studio desk, the car, the driveway and the jeans I have on at the moment. After a good thirty minutes of cussing, stomping and the general espousal of convoluted philosophy, often times the lost is even found embarrassingly, in my own hands. The relief of finding what I need when I need it the most is so great, that it may well enable my losing of it again and again, just get that feeling back. The return of the prodigal keys or the wanderlust wallet is celebrated with a party that looks like the first time reunion has ever taken place. Cue the image in your mind of the clichéd movie scene where two long-lost lovers run towards each other in dramatic slow motion, finally meeting in an, it’s-all-ok embrace. Yeah, that’s usually the scene between my wallet, my car keys and me.
These last few weeks in Runaway Home have been somewhat like the hair-pulling madness of losing what I need, on a daily basis. The scramble that accompanies change and growth is not unlike the chaos of running late and not being able to start the car or find my damn shoes. Last weekend we did start the car though; we found our damn shoes, and we went back out on the road. Florida and the 30A Songwriter’s Festival wound up being much more than just another series of gigs or miles to count down. It was an affirmation. It was forward momentum. It was rediscovery. And it was fun.
We stepped onto the stage at 723 Whiskey Bravo for our very first gig together. As the songs began to spill out from the set list, the harmonies started to envelop our stage space and the old guitars and fiddles made the sound of new music together, something wonderful began to happen. What was once lost was found again. The audience, already primed for a close connection, were with us. They smiled and laughed in all the right paces. They nodded their heads in affirmation when a lyric, a fiddle or guitar lick meant something to them. The hard road of change began to smooth out. The worry and second-guessing of forward momentum gave way to being alive in the moment. The clamor for keys to start the car, for wallets to cover the expenses, for watches to measure the time, for our damn shoes, and all that we use in our daily lives, died back. What we were left with was a most important reminder. It’s the music that makes us smile.
Mark Elliott – Runaway Home
“It’s the Music That Makes Us Smile”