The past few days I have been traipsing through foreign territory. In other words, I’ve been in an unflappable, go-with-the-flow, relaxed and happy mood. I’ve felt like I’ve been firing on all cylinders. Today I’m even typing with more speed and accuracy than usual. My brain has been practically buzzing with ideas and my emotions have been close to the surface, in a good way. To be honest, I’m a little concerned. This isn’t like me. I’m not sure what’s happening.
A few things could be going on here.
First, it’s late September (…and I really should be BACK at school… sorry…love that song…). While the days still get pretty warm, it’s no longer in the triple digits around here, and the nights and mornings are wonderfully cool and autumnal-feeling. This cuts the misery quotient considerably.
Second, I had the 24-hour flu thing last week, wherein I woke up in the early morning, hurled like there was no tomorrow, then slept all day because I felt too achy and feverish to do anything else. The next morning it was gone. I always tend to revel in the deliciousness of feeling better after I’ve been under the weather. The sky seems bluer and I’m just so grateful to not feel crummy anymore.
Third, I’ve stopped trying to adhere to some rigid dietary regime and am simply listening to my body and trying to treat it kindly, which includes eating pretty healthfully but also scarfing down the occasional delicious chocolate chip cookie or garlic fry. I’m still taking my B12, though, and I’m wondering if that’s helping me. I feel sharper than I have in a while.
Last–and this is what I choose to believe is the culprit–3 Pears, the new genre-defying release from one of my favorite musicians, Mr. Dwight Yoakam, came out last week, and, after a bit of rigamarole that involved obtaining it from the right retail establishment, where they have kindly included the 2 bonus tracks I have been pining for ever since he performed them at the concert we attended in April, I swear this new, fresh album is working some sort of magic on my brain and heart and soul. I’m not kidding.
I haven’t felt this strongly about a new recording coming out since my then-beloved U2 released The Joshua Tree in my senior year of high school, and I thought I’d found a key to all the secrets of the universe. Most of the time I had no idea what the hell Bono was talking about, but I didn’t care. I’d lie between the speakers in my room and try to catch every note, every breath, every little oddball background sound, because I couldn’t get enough of those ethereal songs. It was then that I realized music is the only thing that makes me really feel there must be some sort of greater consciousness or spirit.
Now, some two-and-a-half decades later, I am similarly enthralled with this new Dwight album, but for different reasons. The lyrics are sometimes fun, occasionally silly, frequently sad, and almost always beautiful, and this time I understand them. The music is multilayered, lush and rich. If I were so inclined, I could get as much out of lying between the speakers as I did with that U2 album all those years ago. Instead, I prefer to haul ass down the road in my old Chevy Tahoe, letting the music wash over me as I try to approximate the harmonies Dwight’s stellar band members are laying down. Instead of trying to apply U2’s obscure poetry to whatever teenage upset I was in the midst of at the time, I’m now using 3 Pears as a drug, a little something to wake me up, breathe new life into my creativity, and wear new pathways of awareness into my brain. It’s exhilarating.
Last night I felt so good, so alert, my brain so energetic and active, that I was actually a little bit worried about myself. “I think I might be bipolar or something,” I told Brad, who smiled patiently and suggested maybe I just felt good because I’d taken the dogs for a walk earlier. It was more than that, though. It still is. I can’t remember ever having such ups and downs before as the “down” I’ve had the past few months followed by the “up” I’m currently experiencing.
So thank you, Dwight, or vitamin B12, or Fall, or all of the above, for helping me surface from the doldrums, if not the depths. Now all I have to do is decide how to harness this positive energy and use it before it gets away.