Re: my last post, before I write anything here: I promise this is not a blog about relationships or about heartbreak. I felt a bit shy about having posted that, which is intimate and true, but then I realized that isn’t this the whole point of this blog? I’m an introvert, you get what’s in my head, and so there you go. I try to be a person living an authentic life, which means it’s confused and confusing, sometimes bumbling, always a work in progress. Overall, though I don’t anticipate I’ll be posting much about that part of my life, rest assured that it is on my mind and heart, always present as I go through my days.
When I reach a period of transition, it is almost inevitable for me to crave a road trip. I romanticize it, of course, forgetting about how stiff my body becomes on long car rides, how I get restless and a little bit bored, how Nebraska and Kansas are beautiful for a while but then – dear God, do the endless rows of grasses and fields ever end?
I remember, instead, how good it feels to have a full tank of gas and $20 in my pocket (a combination that somehow, for me, indicates unstoppability, though of course that wouldn’t take me very far at all). I remember, instead, the freedom of stopping at awful roadside attractions (rare) and pulling up to as many drive-through coffee huts as I want (all the time). I remember, instead, the windows down if it’s sunny, or the backdrop of rain pounding my roof, as I sing along to every song I have ever wanted to blast on the open road.
So in honor of transitions and road trips – both of which are good, even when they’re hard or boring – I scrolled through my phone and jotted down some songs that would make a playlist if I was departing today. This is by no means a definitive or even very good list. It is a list made of songs that give me room to think and to sing and to adopt, for a little while, the spirit that a road trip promises, in both subtle and overt ways: the chance to be anyone I want, anyone at all, no matter what changes are happening back home.
- American Pie, Don McLean
- Northern Sky, Nick Drake
- Long Road Home, Patty Griffin
- Beautiful Day, U2
- Anything by the Indigo Girls beside their angry political songs
- National Anthem, The Gaslight Anthem
- Human, The Killers
- The entire Wildflowers album by Tom Petty
- Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen
- A whole host of Billy Joel
- America, Simon and Garfunkel
- Beautiful Girl, INXS
- Cayman Islands, Kings of Convenience
- Moonshiner, Redbird
- Days Like This, Van Morrison
- Enjoy the Silence, Depeche Mode
- Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z
- Gypsy, Suzanne Vega
- Half Moon, Blind Pilot
- Heavenly Day, Patty Griffin
- Honey and the Moon, Joseph Arthur
- I Will Wait, Mumford & Sons
- Brand New Me, Alicia Keys
- Ithaca, Redbird
- Kathy’s Song, Simon and Garfunkel
- Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan