Saturday, November 17, 2007

Still The Same

There are so many things I could write about. One is my recent obsession with Bob Seger. Another is something I feel I should write about, because people keep asking me about it: how I'm feeling after our recent failed adoption.

I have a rather strange, yet comforting mental quirk. Songs run through my head alot; many times a day. The song of the moment tends to be suggested by some event or emotion. The songs themselves veer wildly through all genres, from advertising jingles to indie rock, with stops in between for jazz standards, country music, hip hop, and classic rock. The songs must have words, and the words must be in English.

Some might feel sorry for me, thinking that this must be annoying. But it rarely is. As a child, I turned to music for comfort in a bad situation. And I think music became, for me, a way to become organized, mentally. Even though I don't sing well or play any instruments, music is deeply enmeshed with who I am.

Last week, the songs in my head started to trend quite decidedly towards the music of my childhood. At the top of my mental playlist was a song called Still the Same, by Bob Seger.

Here is a sweet digital-storytelling type treatment of Still the Same I found on YouTube (an analysis of the maker's intent could probably fill a whole blog post itself).

The more I revisited this song, the more I became convinced that Bob Seger is fucking brilliant! One of the most interesting things about Bob was that he would often portray himself as a lonely outsider--waking up to find his girl gone, peering in the window of the bar, "trying to lose those awkward teenage blues." I remembered how his more ballad-like hits, like Still the Same, Mainstreet, and Night Moves painted nuanced, bittersweet portraits using very few words. His arrangements, especially the piano and female backup singers, heightened the poignancy. It was all a great soundtrack for an out of place, midwestern adolescent of the late '70s and early '80s like me.

But, you may ask, what about the adoption-related content you seemed to promise earlier?

Well, I don't think I'm being at all glib when I say that the reiteration of Still the Same in my head seems to be telling me just that. We are still the same, even though we're feeling kind of battered and bruised. We still know we are going to be parents, even if it's a little hard to imagine right now. And like Bob Seger, we're feeling a sadness around the edges, and a sense of still being on the outside looking in. But there's still a lot of sweetness in our lives, and we can't help but appreciate that every day.

Our friends and family have carried us through, and here we are. The counselors at our adoption agency, because they feel sorry for us, have offered to let us join something called the Last Minute Hospital List before our time, which will increase our odds. We are moving forward because that's what we have to do, and there's no telling how we will feel when our next match rolls around.


Alexandra said...

I also have songs running through my head most of the time (here I thought I was the only weird one!). I call it my life soundtrack. Can't wait until you have a lullaby running as background music.

bluestar said...

Found your blog yesterday and feel compelled to say: I feel like I'm admitting a dirty secret, but Bob Seeger is brilliant. He was the soundtrack to my midwestern childhood, too -- particularly "Roll Me Away," -- my dad and I sang it on motorcycle trips, and always punched our fists in the air at the end when he says, "Next time...we'll get it Right!"

Last week I listened to him for the first time in ages (an old mix tape!), as my dad drove me to the Indy airport after my trip home for Thanksgiving. I started crying during 'Against the Wind,' thinking how beautiful the farmland and sunrise looked, set against the line, 'found myself further and further from my home'. I had to laugh at myself.

Truly hoping being on the last minute list gets you closer and closer to your 'home' of being a parents.