Saturday, March 7, 2015

Where I Live: Istanbul/Washington, DC

I live in two places: one physically, one in my yearning memory—Istanbul and Washington, DC.

I couldn’t be much further apart. One place is home; one place is home, as well.
How do I reconcile that? It’s like living inside a tinker-toy poem, constantly trying to make shapes that make sense. Love one place unconditionally; fall in and out of love with the other depending on a whim, troubled by the traffic and the wind…It’s confusing.

And when I’m this confused, I realize music is the thing that soothes, and makes my hourglass  soul make sense.

So, today I give you two songs that are both about home (homes, really), and that help me make sense, in the beatific, sonically soothing way that music helps me make sense of life (I'd be screwed without music, I promise) :

Neither song is really about the place it names—Elbow makes a giant musical palette to throw sound at, as they do so brilliantly time after time, using the name only, but using it beautifully well; and REM is singing about not DC, but the suburbs, as all of us who tell you we are from DC do, when, really, none of us are—no one is from DC; we all commute. It’s not a city, but we keep trying.

What does that mean? Who knows…it’s a lost weekend; it’s a strange life. I haven't been home in too long.

But, leaving home is strange: some people run; others are looking for adventure.
When I think of home, on my better days, I feel OK about being a little lost.

When I don’t, I listen to the music, listen long, listen deep, with a truth seeking soul and hope it  will be the reliable voice that makes some kind of sense for me. It’s never failed me before; I hope it won’t now…

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