Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

The Poetry in My Soul

I was driving to work today, and the new Snow Patrol song came on; the thing about Snow Patrol, and Death Cab for Cutie, is that I love their music. But, as we all do, we get associations with sounds, smells, that weave into our memories and like a single strand of thread, can jerk us back in time to a completely different place. Even when new music comes out from that band, that sound, the essence that defines a group that’s played together so long, it’s evocative. When other elements combine on top of that single thread, the tug is greater, you can leave your shoes behind it happens so fast, so strong, as you are transported.

Today is a grey, rainy day. It’s chilly, and it’s keep-your-head-down sort of weather.  There’s only flatness in the sky, like a drop-ceiling in a basement;  perspective and instincts for the time of day are removed. When I heard the chords of that song, I suddenly saw myself in the passenger seat, on that long drive north, the day my father died. There wasn’t anything we could say anymore and we both put our headphones on, content in our solitude.  The sky was grey. Flat. A different season, but the same sky. I dreaded every minute that passed because it was bringing me closer to a certainty I could not accept. I savored every minute because each second that passed allowed me to remain insulated, in that place where Denial sits on the couch next to you & whispers false hope, while you nod and try to convince yourself as well.  Distracting you from the door you must enter when all those collected minutes have passed and the time is now.

The largest piece of solace in that day was the fierceness in my husband, focused and doing the only thing he could do. It is part of that memory fabric, and one I’m grateful to have.  As I crested the hill on my commute this morning, tears welled in my eyes, as I felt my love for him explode through my heart like a thousand sharp diamonds, white and perfectly clear, catching and casting the light in countless fragments. Since there was no light to catch, flat greyness overhead, the light could only be coming from within.  It astounds me how we can measure so many things, weight, space and size, yet there can be such infiniteness of space and depth in our emotions.  My words feel clumsy, blunt butter knives trying to carve elaborate chiaroscuro landscapes in sand.


  1. Becky

    Awww…such a sweet post. I don’t listen to music that much to have it resonate with me for Ted, but there are other things that will spark that overwhelming feeling that I have for him.

    On a lighter note, I’m impressed that you can write something like this while at work!

  2. Emma Dog

    Oh Jen, that was beautiful – moving, enveloping. Truly, as the title indicates, poetry. Such an awesome tribute, and it brought tears to my eyes.

  3. sue

    What a beautiful post.

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