Saturday, November 15, 2008


Are you familiar with songlines? They are the Australian Aboriginal myths of Creation. And, they are fascinating...and beautiful. These Dreamtime stories tell of Australia's original wanderers giving names to places, birds, animals, etc. They explain everything. All cultures have their myths of creation. I mentioned in an earlier post that I also enjoy the Native American myths that Hillerman and Mitchell incorporate into their mysteries. But the Aboriginal songlines are especially close to my heart because as Bruce Chatwin says in his book "The Songlines", they sang their world into existence.

So...what does all this have to do with the Eagles tickets that I was about ready to pee my pants over yesterday? Well, I'm glad you asked!

Music has always been one of the most important things in my life. Music is interwoven through my entire world, my entire existence. I can tell you the first album my parents gave me as a child (Walt Disney Hits...and I swore that my mom's best friend Ruth sang Bippity-Boppity-Boo...and NO ONE could convince me otherwise...still can't...I don't care what the album jacket says), my first album as a teeny bopper (Wayne Newton Live! - hey! cut me some slack! we had just gone to Vegas and seen his show AND MET HIM and I thought he was SO cool!), my first 8-track (An Evening with John excuses...I still love John Denver) - well, you get the picture.

Okay, okay...the Eagles. Heartache Tonight was released in 1979 and was a huge hit. The Sophomore class at East High School in Aurora will take credit for that, thank you. After all, we were the ones who called the radio station and requested it night after night as we worked our fingers to the bone on the homecoming float. Really. We twisted more tissue paper around chicken wire than you can ever imagine. And we constantly requested Heartache Tonight. And when it came on, we'd jump up from the garage floor and dance and sing at the top of our lungs. There was heartache for the Juniors and Seniors on homecoming night when our Tomcat beat their Tomcats. We'd sung out path to victory.

I could tell you stories for hundreds of songs in my life - including dozens of Eagles songs - but I'm only going to tell you one more for now. One that is immediate on my personal songline. You know, my path in the life I'm creating for myself.

I've already mentioned that music is important to me. My whole life has been and is set to music. When I think of a memory, I can immediately associate it with a song. When I hear a song, I immediately think of something that happened in my life. I've also mentioned that I am working on a novel. When you write a novel, they tell you that you should "know your characters". Things like what they'd eat, what's their favorite TV show, what's their favorite color, etc. Well, naturally, I also know what's on each of my characters' iPods. When I look at a person, I often think of a song. So, I associate my characters with songs as well. When the Eagles released their newest CD (Long Road Out of Eden) late last year, the song Busy Being Fabulous immediately became Stephanie's song. I don't know when Don Henley and Glenn Frey went on walkabout through my dreamtime but I'm glad they did. They nailed my gal Steph. Everyone should have a song. And Stephanie has hers. AND I'm going to get to hear the Eagles sing it live!

The Eagles have one other really special place on my songline. Yesterday I mentioned standing in line for tickets. That was on November 13, 2004. A Saturday morning. With snow flurries. It was a fabulous day and all was right with my world. Four days later, on Wednesday, I had a stroke. At age 40. I remember laying in the critical care area of the emergency room thinking "well damn it, I have Eagles tickets". (I couldn't piece it together at that very moment, but I had four months until the concert - March 8, 2005.) One of the legs that I had used to stand in line for those tickets would not keep my balance. The hand that I had used to hand the lady my credit card would not move. I knew what I was thinking but that's not always what I was saying. Only four days had passed since I stood in that line and requested those seats and paid for those tickets and at that moment, nothing was right with my world.

So, almost exactly four years to the day later - November 14, 2008 - I bought Eagles tickets again. I didn't have to stand in line but I could have if I had to. And, I used that hand that didn't move to type on the keyboard to purchase the tickets because it moves again. And, on most days, my mind and mouth do work together unless I'm REALLY tired or REALLY excited. And once again, all is right with my world. Now I just have to get through November 17th. (Stay tuned!)

Find your songs and dance along your songline in life. What are your songs? I hope that one of them is Life's Been Good!

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