Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The deep green welcomeness of Love

A musician friend of mine has given me two Elvis Costello CD's, one jazz and one bluegrass (!) and I woke up this morning with the last bluegrass song in my head.

It's called Changing Partners, it's a waltz, and it seems at first hearing to be a very common ordinary sort of country waltz with a sort of common ordinary romantic theme. And, in fact, I find his voice a little grating in the upper registers.

But there's this one low note he hits repeatedly as he sings the song, and the vibrato of it seems to resonate with the core of my heart. It has a deep green welcomeness to it that's a bit like that breathless kick I used to get reading romance novels, when the hero finally kisses the girl at the end of the book.

Which means that somehow Elvis Costello -- yes, the same Elvis who sang "I write the book" all those years ago -- becomes, for the duration of that note, "McDreamy," awakening that longing for connection that I suspect lies deep in each and every one of us.

We humans, of course, tend to take that feeling and project it onto other humans, hoping to vibrate together at that invisible core of being and then being disappointed at the... well... humanness of the partners we choose. But what if the story told in these lyrics is really the story of our lives? What if we are propelled by the dance of life from the arms of God, and the patterns of the dance move us through a series of partners -- places, people, jobs -- until, at the end, we dance back into the arms of God?

If that were true, than the resonance of that low note, and the way it is so in tune with the beating of my heart, could be the memory of that One true love, recurring throughout this song/dance/life of ours -- in the eyes of a beloved, in the fragrance of the forest, in the rhythm of the water and the caress of a summer breeze -- reminding me of that one true Love and calling me back into that final waltz.

I know. A lot of foolishness to put into a simple country and western song. But when I came to my computer I opened I-tunes and played the song: it was a beautiful way to start the day.

We were dancing together
To a dreamy melody
When they called out, "Change partners"
And you waltzed away from me

Now my arms feel so empty
As I gaze around the floor
And I'll keep on changing partners
Till I hold you once more

Though we danced for one moment
And too soon we had to part
In that wonderful moment
Something happened to my heart

So I'll keep changing partners
Till you're in my arms again
Oh my darling, I may never
Change partners again.

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