Bob Seger and Past Selves

It’s funny how out in blogland, I always seem to run across a post that contains just the right touch of wisdom, the words that I need to hear to prompt me to look at things from a different viewpoint.

Once again, such a post was found on Terri Windling’s blog and is called “The things that save us.” There Terri writes about how things that we leave behind, including our various stages of youth and aging, are never really lost but carried within us and within the things we create.

I was reminded of this when I attended a Bob Seger concert Thursday evening — thanks to my friend who had an extra ticket. I guess I should also thank her significant other, who couldn’t make it to the concert.

Friday morning the bottom of my feet were still sore from stomping, my hands red from clapping, my voice raw from singing along (yes, I’m one of THOSE annoying people), and my hips were aching from swaying. In other words, the concert was body jiggling fantastic!

The only bad thing was that I was worried about carrying my big, new camera and so I went with my pocket-sized one. The crappy photos are the result of that bad decision. Oh, well. So many Maery shortcomings. I finally started going for weird photo effects on purpose (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it).

And if I’d known that my cameras video was working, I might have ended up with a clip longer than 12 seconds. Big huge sigh…

But never mind about all that. The point is that Bob Seeger is in his 60’s but you could see that inner young guy in the joy he carried in performing the music. His energy and warmth was palpable. He was having a grand time and so was everyone there (especially the people smoking pot near us).  Ah, memories… of all that sweet music, not of smoking pot of course. Really people.

And who is not taken away by a saxophone that pulls and expands the very air around it with the sounds eminating from the player’s soul?

The music took me back in time — to when I listened to these very same songs, to the girl I was then, and to the musician I was later. I remembered that feeling you have when you put a piece of yourself into the music and make it an expression of everything you carry inside you. I know what it’s like to play and send shivers up my own spine.

An insanely magical thing this music. It can take you back to re-experience a previous life and place, with all the emotions that went with those times.

Yet, while I went back to previous memories, I realized that in this time, this age, I enjoyed the concert more than was possible when I was younger. One bill of goods we’ve been sold about the joys of getting older is true, at least for me — my older-self is less inhibited, self conscious and worried about what people think. And she is more outspoken and expressive than was that younger Maery.

Perhaps this is because I now know that time is limited. Not all good things last, like your health. And things like opportunities and experiences don’t always come around more than once.

Terri Windling wrote in “The things that save us.” , “Now here I am this morning in my “Bumblehill stage,” my Bumblehill self, sweet Tilly nestled up against my feet, looking out the studio doorway at the sun-lit Devon hills…while all the other selves inside me are looking out too, and enjoying this fine morning along with us.”

It’s true. We see things through the eyes of who we’ve been and what our life has been up to this point. My most recent past self, the married farm girl, is now joined up with a more independent urban woman, and the combination is interesting.

In another of Terri’s blog posts titled  “On time”, she wrote, “it sometimes requires strong effort to remain anchored to the physical world when I’m caught up in the giddy time-travel of writing or painting. That’s why, for me, a dog, a footpath, and a stout pair of walking boots are as necessary to my creative process as paper and ink and paint. Among trees and stone and weather and wind, I am rooted in the present once again.”

I know quite a few of my readers, regardless of whether you consider yourself a writer or artist, understand what Terri is saying.

While I live in a more urban world, what anchors me is my encounters with nature, which includes not only the rivers and trees and wildlife, but my animals and gardens.

What anchors me is the feeling of dirt scooped aside to feed my worms or transplant a seedling. It’s tossing a frisbee for Java and playing a tug game with Latte. It’s joining up with the rhythm of Lukes footfalls and feeling a rider-horse connection from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

It’s walks and bike rides and noticing the lines formed by branches and patterns in bark.

It’s the shadows on the rivers that reflect back an assorted mirror of images where I imagine fairytale beings peeking from amongst the wavering water.

What anchors me is how things that are seen day-after-day, can look so different as the light and clouds change overhead.

Everything changes, yet remains the same, if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s all in the perspective, the angle of your view.

What anchors me is seeing things with my heart and breath and feeling connected and rooted, knowing my place in all the viney, tangled twists and turns.

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