Saturday, July 14, 2012

“I Dream a Highway”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed highways—highways to real places, highways to imaginary ones; highways that moved fluidly thru time & space—into the future, into the past; highways to people, highways to nowhere.

We live in time—it’s our element. Place, yes, too—so crucial—but above all time. We live in past & future & present at all times concurrently, & in living in those times that are all “present” & also all “absent,” we build highways out of longing. I long for times & places & people. I’ve always been a person beset with longing—I realize I’m not unique in this.

As the years have passed, the fierce passions associated with longing have mellowed, its true—the fruit of the late summer: September song. The longing now more often than not comes either as melancholy or gratitude. As I’m melancholic by nature, this is the baseline—but I can get to that other place, too.

Dreaming highways—no one sings about this better than the incomparable Gillian Welch.


6 comments:

  1. Great post, John! And thanks for starting my day with Gillian.

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  2. Your words about highways and time touched me deeply.

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  3. I love Gillian Welch's music; thank you for posting this song. When I was younger and things weren't going so well, I'd be driving along and a highway would cross my path and the possibility of just getting on that highway and driving on it – wherever it led, and not coming back – was almost overwhelming. I had forgotten about that feeling.

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    Replies
    1. Hi eArnie: Yes, I know that feeling all too well. Glad you enjoyed the post--thanks!

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