I love looking for the theme song for my stories.
Some songs are slow as molasses making themselves known to me, but that’s another story.
Some songs come to me lickety-split, for instance the song for my first Walkerville Desires book, Return is David Bowie’s “Heroes”.
I think both Francis and Fiona are heroes in their own way. Each with their own reasons for coming back to their hometown, they connect and life goes on.
The Bowie version I love is live from his 2002 Berlin Tour. He oozes sex, he is silly and he connects with the audience.
“… We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What’d you say? …”
Sometimes I also find poetry. Or, as with the music, sometimes the poetry finds me. Again, for Walkerville Desires: Return, besides “Heroes” the poem I associate with that story is “A Summer Day” by Mary Oliver.
The iconic lines from this exquisite poem are the last two:
“Tell me, what do you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
When I first read this poem, the lines that knocked my socks off were:
“I don’t know exactly what prayer is,
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass,
How to kneel down into the grass, how to be idle and blessed …”
Oh, my, I thought, someone else who falls in love with a moment.
When I was 16 years old, I fell in love with Dylan, The Beatles, and Charles Aznavour. I saw two films that year that remain my favorites, “Shoot the Piano Player” and “Sundays and Cybele”.
I read “Gigi” by Colette (I re-read this every year for many years), “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte and “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.
One of my favorite poems is Yeats’ “When You Are Old”. I have read and re-read this poem since my 16th year. The lines that captured my heart when I was 16 were the same lines that left me sobbing, at 70 years old, when I heard it read today.
“But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face …”
Yeats wrote this as a young man. I think he was reflecting on an unrequited love and how things might turn out for them. I have always been struck with the phrase ‘the pilgrim soul’. This is what took my breath away when I first read this poem.
I wanted to be this woman with a pilgrim soul.
I wanted to be traveler, a journeyer. I have traveled and journeyed mainly between my ears, in my imagination, in my soul, then reflected, as Mary Oliver says, ‘idle and blessed.’
How fortunate have I been to carry these treasures throughout my life and to know that I have more to do and look forward to doing more.
I was so delighted and honored that “When You Are Old” chose itself as the poem for my new book (not part of the Walkerville Desires series, something different) and the Dixie Chicks’ “Lullaby” presented itself as the song.
I think this is the universe doing for me what I could not do for myself.
Here’s a link to hear Tom Hiddleston read “When You Are Old”. I’ve heard other people read it, including several Irishmen, but Loki has my heart.