Monday, May 17, 2010


People who don't like waking up on Monday mornings apparently don't wake up the way I did this morning: To John Hiatt's "Crossing Muddy Waters," from his 2000 album of the same name. It's haunting and beautiful, with a jangling mandolin that's somehow soothing and a depressing lyric that is somehow uplifting. It's one of the best songs Hiatt has done, which means it's one of the best songs anybody has ever done, but Hiatt flies below the pop radar and your chances of waking up to "Crossing Muddy Waters" on the clock radio are criminally slim. Waking up that way every morning since Friday would defy all odds, unless of course your clock radio also plays CDs and that's what you put in there.

The song speaks for a man whose life has just reminded him that he's not in control - "Baby's gone and I don't know why," the song begins. Life is like that. It happens to you more than you happen to it. Mine's been happening to me a lot lately, too. Baby certainly hasn't crossed any big wide brown river and disappeared, but this spring has served up a tectonic shift mostly beyond my control. Same jangling, different mandolin. It happens. That, I guess, is why I try to train and race and eat right and read and write and learn something new every day, and why I rack up an old CD alarm clock before I go to bed way too late and way too briefly. You control what you can, and if only three minutes of the day goes right, it might as well be the first three.


Patty said...

Sorry about the jangling. As long as you'll have me, though, I'm not going anywhere (without you, anyway).