Thursday, June 30, 2011

no i've never been convicted of a crime. i could start this job at any time.

i was in civics class that day, ironically.

my teacher dismissed us to second period and i looked back to see him covering his mouth and looking up at the television. i went to keyboarding class and watched from behind an old computer monitor as September 11 unfolded in real time.

a few days passed in stunned silence. in muddling through assignments and busy work and everyone in a state of half shock. then, my civics teacher brought a boom box in one morning, and a mixed cd. i'll never forget as he looked around and said, "please don't talk for the next three minutes. i was driving yesterday, and this song came on the radio. i had to pull over on the side of the road and cry." he then played alan jackson's "where were you (when the world stopped turning)."

that civics teacher is a basketball coach now. for another school a few cities away. ten years passed, and i only saw him once, in a movie theater. but i'll never forget the idea that he gave me. that songs can impact us so much that they shake us. render us unable to drive. hit a nerve so deep you can't even find the volume button to turn it up.

i was driving on monday, and this song came on the radio. and i watched as gas stations, traffic and shopping centers passed by in slow motion around me. i pulled into work and just sat to listen. i played it again at work  yesterday and had to lean down and pretend to get something out of my bottom drawer to wipe away a tear.

because this song is so honest. and true. and heart breaking in that ordinary, soft way. it's not about war. or about killing or fighting or even death. but it reminded me of a man i used to know at work. who hasn't worked for two years. and for that, i wept.

14 comments:

Jennifer Rod said...

songs are so powerful!

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Your heart is so beautiful. ☺

ALFIE said...

this is so heart wrenching. yet lovely at the same time. only by having compassion on each other will we ever grow as a people.

thanks for visiting my blog. i love your space here. i hope you can track down a copy of neruda's art of birds. it's a beaut!

Torie said...

that alan jackson song gets me every time. it's so tied to such a powerful, unforgettable moment in american history. another song that makes me always cry for some reason is "my little girl" by tim mcgraw. i decided long ago that that would be the father-daughter dance song at my wedding.

Gentri said...

I completely agree. I love music and it has a huge impact on us. Love this post.

Amber Blue Bird said...

now thats a voice I would like to hear more of. Beautiful song. I have tons of songs that have impacted my life. Music is something that always seems to bring people together

Breeanna @ a brilliant melody said...

Thanks for sharing. This song reminds me of my husband. He's about to get out of the Marines and will be working in a less glamorous job so he can support us.

Erika Lee Sears said...

I think everyone remembers where they were on 9/11 and little things will always remind us of that day.. such a touching song.

jennifer blair said...

Oh goodness. I should probably stop driving when I feel that way too. I often felt incredibly moved when I used to drive home to visit my family every weekend. Just me, music & God. Those were powerful moments.

Eleanor said...

this post was so moving.
xx
mirrorofmyworld.blogspot.com

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

Your writing is so amazing. You're definitely right about the power of songs. Lovely post. xoxo

Anna said...

You have such a heart, Courtney. And that really touches my heart deeply.

Bibi - Simple Summit said...

Courtney, your post has touched my heart yet again. For a long time I couldn't listen to Alan Jackson's song, for it made me cry every time I did. Remembering 9/11.
Cost of Livin' speaks so true to our hearts. Thanks for sharing.

Shalyn said...

I love the emotions evoked by music- so honest. Love this song too.

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