31 Songs: The Power Of Two

So we’re in Texas, and I could go all sorts of ways with the blog tonight.

Such as: I’ve been singing the opening lines of this song – loudly – at random times throughout the day, just because; I remember Dad singing it and I remember doing a little swing dancing to it and who doesn’t love a little Texas swing and the master of it, Mr. George Strait?

But other than blurting out the first four lines at random, there’s not much resonance here. I suppose I do have a few exes that live in Texas, but I’m not very concerned with them. In fact, now that I think about it, I ought to delete this and start over, because talking or thinking about exes is not a direction I was interested in going. At all.

The other possibility is this tune from the 70’s; it was playing at IHOP tonight and I mouthed all of the lyrics – with great dramatic flair – to my partner, over pancakes. It was a moment, for sure.

He rolled his eyes at me; and then Olivia Newton-John started singing “Have to believe we are magic…” and we decided it was time to leave this land of maple syrup and bad pop music…

Here’s what I really wanted to write about tonight; follow my short rabbit trail.

Cruising the flat land between Little Rock and Texarkana at 6pm, I did my usual Saturday night routine; I found an NPR station. Prairie Home Companion is one of the most rewarding, stimulating, entertaining and engaging two hours of my week. I love the whole premise of a variety show; I am a big fan of Garrison Keillor’s story-telling, and I just get the humor. It’s my happy place.

I also discover a tremendous amount of good music – there’s the thrill of turning on the radio and finding out that Chris Thile is with Garrison, or somebody like Emmylou Harris. Chet Atkins was always a favorite, and I’m quite partial to Rich Dworsky’s mad B3 and piano skills.

I love this show.

Tonight, we heard a new-to-us singer/songwriter, Lera Lynn. Her voice was magical, and I made note of her record and intend to buy it and listen deeply in the next week. The songs – and the singer – made me think of The Indigo Girls, a band I discovered in college and rediscovered in the late 80’s.

But here’s the point, for this post; I remember, with amazing clarity, hearing their tune The Power of Two for the first time. I was in a dressing room at JC Penneys at Chesterfield Town Center. My ear caught the rhythmic pulse of the acoustic groove; I recognized the voice and knew the band, but hadn’t heard the song, although it dated back to the mid 1990’s. I stopped trying on clothes and stood still to listen.

So we’re okay, we’re fine 
Baby I’m here to stop your crying 
Chase all the ghosts from your head 
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed 
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart 
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take them apart 
Adding up the total of a love that’s true 
Multiply life by the Power Of Two

At the moment I was standing in that dressing room I was working through the possibility of new love in my life; love and partnership that would be permanent and steady.

I was skittish. Not because of him, but because of me. One of the things I had learned in counseling after the end of my marriage to my kids’ dad was that I’d likely take the same baggage and the same issues into any new relationship – and end up with the same problems.

(That statement provided motivation to continue counseling and get better…for sure. Because it was true.) 

I knew there were tremendous risks. But I also knew that there was something significantly different about this man and this relationship.

Standing in the dressing room in Penneys, trying on clothes, I had a powerful moment. This became – for me – “our song”. We have other songs, thank the Lord, because he never connected with this song the way I did. But, for me, the lyric encapsulated almost everything I was feeling about the great, grand step of faith into a future that included him, and included us, together.

You know the things that I am afraid of I’m not afraid to tell 
And if we ever leave a legacy it’s that we loved each other well 
‘Cause I’ve seen the shadows of so many people trying on the treasures of youth 
But a road that’s fancy and fast ends in a fatal crash 
And I’m glad we got off to tell you the truth

So today, flying down the highway on a road we’d never travelled together, I heard Lera Lynn and thought of The Indigo Girls and had a moment of deep gratitude for the man in the driver’s seat. Now my husband, he is the necessary halve of the power of two that works in my life. The closer we are bound in love, the closer I am to free; and I believe that I am privileged, in this coupling, to sense the grace and glory of all that God promised when he created us and said, It is not good for man to be alone. I love this man, and I am grateful.

We left IHOP and walked the short journey on broken pavement to the Motel 6. We were laughing about something ridiculous; a swimming pool that had been filled in with dirt (Motel 6 is apparently giving up on outdoor recreation). I grabbed his hand and leaned into his shoulder.

“I love you. I can’t imagine being anywhere else, with anybody else but you.” 

Nothing like a road trip to make you fall in love all over again.

Now the parking lot is empty 
Everyone’s gone someplace 
I pick you up and in the trunk I’ve packed 
A cooler and a two day suitcase 
‘Cause there’s a place we like to drive 
Way out in the country 
Five miles out of the city limit we’re singing and your hand’s upon my knee 

‘Cause we’re okay, we’re fine 
Baby, I’m here to stop your crying 
Chase all the ghosts from your head 
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed 
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart 
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take them apart 
Adding up the total of a love that’s true 
Multiply life by the Power Of Two 

All the shiny little trinkets of temptation, something new instead of something old  
All you gotta do is scratch beneath the surface and it’s fools gold 

Now we’re talking about a difficult thing and your eyes are getting wet 
I took us for better and I took us for worse 
Don’t you ever forget it 
 The steel bars between me and a promise 
Suddenly bend with ease 
The closer I’m bound in love to you 
The closer I am to free


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