Monday, September 24, 2012

like living in the middle of the ocean

When I was 26, my sister and I went to Burning Man for the first time. We drove out there in a rental car with her boyfriend, wide eyed, excited and totally unprepared for what was about to happen to our lives (we would go many more times and build an incredible family of friends around it). My sister had made me a mix tape that summer, and on it was the song Central Reservation by Beth Orton.  It's just a silly pop song, but it reminds me of that time in my life- the feeling of open expanse that you get at dawn in the dessert after a night of partying. That feeling of open expansiveness that you feel when you are in your 20's.

It's funny, because that's exactly how Beth wrote that song,

"Apart from specific songs." Central Reservation, she recalls with a smile, the title track of her breakthrough 1999 album, "was written in Cartagena in Colombia after a different kind of night with no sleep. I had been doing what you do in Cartagena with some beautiful boy and snorting a stupid amount of coke and the song came from the joy of sitting in the sunshine the next day with a glorious hangover. I do remember that…"

Beth is forty now. She left the music biz 6 years ago after getting dropped from her label(she'd just had a baby), bought a farm in Norfolk, and raised her daughter as a single mum. She quit music... and then slowly learned the guitar and started writing again. She went through a bit of a dark, lonely time and then came out the other end and released a new album called Sugaring Season.

Today is my 38th birthday. It feels so strange to be this age. I'm not really sure I know how I'm supposed to act. Thirty-eight-- properly grown-up. A real adult. Nearly forty. Holy shit. Will there be more dawns after nights of dancing? Will there be more open expansiveness?

I certainly hope so.

No comments:

Post a Comment