Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Singing into the Void

I've explained before that part of the draw for Czech trains for me is the ability to open the window and stick out one's head. This weekend, I was sitting in a compartment with the door and the window open, as it was quite warm. I was feeling sick (preschool germs have finally knocked me down, missed two days of work this week for the first time in months) and just trying to make it through the train ride. I was sitting near the door of the compartment when I noticed a boy in his mid-teens standing at the open window in the hall. He had his headphones on and was nodding his head along. Suddenly, he stuck his head out the window and sang along with everything he had inside of him. I can't imagine how cathartic it must have been--to be surrounded by people on a full train but able to sing as loud as you want to, answered only by the rushing air around your head.

I wanted to follow suit but instead sat and thought about all the songs that have been so poignant to me lately. Which one would I sing out of the window of a moving train?
I think that I've decided upon "Open Road" by Kris Delmhorst.

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"I will climb onto that train
Find a seat that's got no view.
I will take what I need with me
I will not take what I don't.
I will say that I will be back here but I know that I won't.
I will live with empty pockets,
I will live with empty sleeves,
I will know that there is nothing in this world I cannot leave.
I will tell my friends I love them
I will hope that they know
I need nobody beside me on this open road."

Sometimes, it gets draining making up answers to questions like, "When are you coming back to the States?" or "What are you doing after this?" These are questions I don't want to answer. I don't have answers for them. I make up plans to talk about so that I can answer these questions, but I'm not passionate about my answers. I am passionate about what I am doing right now. And my friends may be getting married, having kids, and buying houses. But I am content to live with my empty pockets, with my head out the window of a train.

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