Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together

Ben Lee played that song right before Ben Folds performed. We didn't even know that Lee would be opening beforehand, but that song was one of the highlights for me. The yellow lights turned on the audience and you could watch people to either side of you singing, "We're all in this together." You know how concerts get sometimes, how there are moments when you're all connected, you and the musician and the crowd.

(This will be a sentimental post.)

So that song has been stuck to my ribs since the concert (and it helps that that Kohl's commercial is on every five minutes). Life sometimes adopts a theme for a while, doesn't it? Where for a few weeks, everything you hear, see, and feel seems to be focused on the same thing. I've been stuck on interconnectedness these days.

I realize it sounds goofy, but I finally joined Facebook and at this point in my life's thematic succession it's become something sort of beautiful to me. I found my old Southern Baptist next-door neighbors from Georgia, the little girl who lived next door down and has a baby now, two of my best friends from second and third grade, and it turns out a kid I grew up with in my Georgia ward is one of Optimistic.'s old compies. I've been talking a little with one of those grade school friends, and I hope he doesn't mind me posting this:

yeah... i graduated high school and went to the university of west ga and it just wasnt for me. so i went back home and started working. always wanted to be in the military but never thought i would be. i joined the marines after two years of workin in rome and now im lovin my job, my life and my lil girl. i was gonna get married but she just wasnt the person i thought she was so it didnt happen. but im in school for music again. and it only gets better from here on out.
I found that really moving and I couldn't definitively tell you why. Maybe it's a little perverse that I so dig glimpses into other peoples' lives. Found, Post Secret, Suggestion Box. Only now it's with people I actually know and am demonstrably connected to. Finding these obsolete connections is a real emotional kick for me, like listening to a truly fantastic song* or knowing you're doing something for the last time.**

Another manifestation: Alabama. I know it doesn't sound great, but we all have our childhood Shangri La and mine happens to be in the deep south. But it's not really the place, just the people that I know will be there on July 4th. I find myself desperate to get to know my aunts and uncles and grandparents, get their stories, connect with them before babies and prices and cancer and taxes stop us from ever coming again.***

And lastly, my husband, who shows me pictures of old people he likes and writes screenplays about Benjamin Franklin jump-starting a car with a kite in a thunderstorm: he is my best friend. As it was recently described, it's like "our brains are holding hands." There's nothing so satisfying as completely connecting with somebody, and Andy...gosh I just like you a lot.

*I was reminded of a warm evening that a friend sent me the Johnny Cash cover of Hurt with the caption, "Feel with me, friend." And I did.

**There was another warm evening when a friend came over, crawled into my bed with me, and cried for graduation, for moving away, and for growing up. Unrelatedly, my brother got married the next day.

***Everything is Illuminated has a passage which describes the literal glow that happens around people making love that can sometimes be seen from space. In my mind's eye, Centre, AL also shines into outer space, if for different reasons.

1 reason(s) to click here:

LJ said...

It's moments like this that help me realize why I love you so much. You're a safe place to mentally curl up with and cry.