Wednesday, March 3, 2010
"Slow down woman, you're driving too fast!"
Those are the infamous words I've been hearing about since I was a kid. Apparently, I was in the back seat at 2 1/2 and shouted that to my mom as we were driving down the street. I've been giving directions all my life.
As I heard the clack of my heels echoing through the midnight streets of Chicago tonight, I thought of that and smiled. I found myself once again wandering a big city alone for a few minutes after hours in seek of some good night shots. I made it through a few dozen before my fingers were too cold to find the camera button as I stood on one of the city's many bridges over the freezing cold river, feeling gusts of even colder wind rush by with every taxi.
Listening to my heels get closer to the hotel lobby, I was doing two things...listening for any other footsteps coming up behind me (too many years with cops and a traumatized childhood have made me super cautious even in my non-chalance for the hour). The second thing I was doing...just listening. When is the last time you had enough free time or space to listen to your footsteps or the sound of your breath?
Not frequently enough that it isn't a foreign sound. As much as I am planted securely in my own driver's seat, I feel like I'm living life in the fast lane. Too many hours a slave to insomnia and then spent sleeping in after the sun has come up, I keep hearing that one thought rattle around in my head "you only have this one life to live."
I came to Chicago for one reason alone...to see Alicia Keys in concert. I could have very well stayed at home and waited for her to come to me, but I would have had to take a Saturday night off once she got there. Yes, it has come to this...flying 2,000+ miles to not miss a day off for a concert. Be not mistaken, it is not for the selfless love of work, rather than the abysmal lack of paid time off. I used to dream about the time in my life when I could get on a plane just to go see a concert. I'm here. Hey kid who used to dream about those things, you made it.
On chance, Tyler Perry and Madea herself (yes, I love, love, love me some Madea) were here at a near sold-out live musical and there were two seats with our names on them. If a Tyler Perry movie is like Bible study, a live show is like being IN the chior. It was beautiful, funny, moving, inspiring, entertaining...it was like the warm embrace of the extended family you know you can always count even though you don't always see them there, the family you're not ashamed to cry in front of. There were too many messages in that show to count...forgiveness, redemption, love, family, making your time matter, doing this life right. Do this life right...I'm listening Madea. I'm listening. You and that little girl are telling me the same thing, I know. Listen to your footsteps...hear yourself breath.
"Slow down woman, you're driving too fast." I hear ya kid.