Friday, July 29, 2011

Re-emergence soundtrack

I spent the last week in the middle of the woods. No phone or internet, no tv or radio; just me, some friends, the wild world and encouragement to write. It was a deeply restorative time, one I needed badly. I've come back re-energized and with renewed priorities.

I have some concern about how to maintain this energy and purpose in the face of so many competing needs. I've written, talked and, as I was driving home (about five hours) I sang about it. Without consciously thinking about it, I found myself singing out some of what I need to remember.

As I drove out through upstate New York my dear friends (and yours too, probably) The Beatles, sang to me about the Two of Us, how connected I am to so many, and reminded me to Let it Be. By the ferry into Vermont Joan Armatrading reminded me that I'm Lucky. Kate Bush sang to me about Cloud Busting, how the impossible is possible even when forces align against us. Barreling into New Hampshire David Wilcox sang about Laura's last ride in Johnny's Camaro (if you don't know this one, you should), then Jane Siberry reminded me that Love is Everything and that I am Bound by the Beauty. And by the time I was almost home The Beatles were back with me, all of us singing at the top of our lungs about being a Paperback Writer, considering scenes In My Life and remembering to take a sad song and make it better.

By the time I got home my throat was sore from singing for five hours but my heart was reassured that I could maintain my self against the combined forces of traffic and timecards, work and worry. I was midwifed across three states and back into my known life, a renewed woman, by four guys from Liverpool, some wild women and a gentle man.

And I got to wondering: What are your soundtracks? What music midwives you from one state to another? How do you re-emerge from retreat to everyday life?

(c)2011 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. The experience of the women writers retreat is like none other! It seems to lift up our creativity to new heights. Loved reading your blog and related to it, as I've been there several times and hope to return next year. One of the reasons I enjoy Wally Lamb's books, aside from the masterful writing itself, is that he is inspired by popular music, names every novel after a song, and at least in his latest book, actually listed all the songs that inspired sections of the book as he listened to them.

  2. I do my v best singing in the car. I am sublime there. Is it because no one else can hear me? There's a new country song called "You & Tequila Make Me Crazy" that I sing along with these days...both radio & me at terrific volume.


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