running in field

Running Against the Wind.

It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago
Janey was lovely; she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playing low, and
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
‘Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove
And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh-so-tight
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then

Against the wind
We were runnin’ against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin’ against the wind

The years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home, and I
Guess I lost my way
There were oh-so-many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searching
Searching for shelter again and again

Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind

Well those drifter’s days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out

Against the wind
I’m still runnin’ against the wind
I’m older now but still runnin’ against the wind

-Bob Seger

I love everything about this Bob Seger song — the lyrics, the instrumentation, the grit and soul in his voice, the way he (as he often does in his other songs) manages to paint a sweeping story with true shape and color and mouthfeel in the sparsest of details, the poignant note of enlightened resignation he hits. It’s made its way onto my running playlist in the past few weeks, and it always leaves me contemplative.

The song speaks principally to me about moving through life with self-possession and making peace with the myriad forms of resistance we encounter while doing so. Especially in moments of major transition and enterprise in my life, I have occasionally felt as though constrained by invisible forces pushing me toward inertia. “Stay in your place!” those forces shout. “Do not do that thing!” Do not move states, do not take that new job, do not start that new business, do not have that second child. Sometimes these exhortations take the shape of “deadlines and commitments,” but other times they emerge in more emotionally tortuous ways, like the not intentionally unkind but still-wounding dismissal of my pursuits in various ways by friends and loved ones. With age, I have learned not to carry grudges or grievances along these lines and to trust that most people are simply preoccupied with their own circuits and — to borrow from Seger — the winds that assail them.

The key, I think Seger indicates, is to accept this resistance as a condition of living with integrity, and to cultivate the skill of discernment — learning “what to leave in, what to leave out,” when to lean into the wind and when to take shelter.

Interestingly, Seger had this to say about the lyrics:

“Janey says to me all the time, ‘You allow more people to walk on you than anybody I’ve ever known.’ And I always say it’s human nature that people are gonna love you sometimes and they’re gonna use you sometimes. Knowing the difference between when people are using you and when people truly care about you, that’s what “Against the Wind” is all about. The people in that song have weathered the storm, and it’s made them much better that they’ve been able to do it and maintain whatever relationship. To get through is a real victory.”

What do you think? Are you running against the wind right now?

Post-Scripts.

+Actual musings on running.

+Sister Jane has such fun, playful little dresses out right now — love this!

+These beautiful cards would make another great stocking stuffer. I’m thinking specifically for my mother-in-law — we often play cards with my in-laws and these are so pretty!

+Too many precious finds from new-to-me children’s label Mon Ami, but I am swooning over this swan bath robe for infants, these ballerina ornaments, and all of their precious fabric dolls.

+More gifts for toddlers and small children!

+This Olympia Le Tan clutch is tugging at my heartstrings. LOVE.

+This tartan jacket! So fun for the holidays, especially with velvet trousers or even black skinny jeans. I can’t stop with the tartan this year.

+Something small and perfect.

+This blouse is EVERYTHING.

+Two really fun cool-weather dresses: this Christy Dawn and this Pink City Prints.

+OK, this baby blanket (especially in the dog print) is beyond adorable.

+Mini pumpkins for the toddler Thanksgiving table.

+All my latest finds

+Such a fun fall blouse for only $20.

+Also love this square-neck dress with brown suede boots/heels/flats.

+Little red gloves with little red velvet bows for little hands.

+These little plush lovies are actually night-lights! So darling.

+Select items at SEA are on sale for up to 50% off. I’m drooling over this dress.

+On aging and accepting that I don’t know everything. In fact, I know very little.

+Fun, easy, $60 winter floral dress. Would work with bump!

+Chic, personalizable iPhone charging block. (I never thought I’d string those descriptors together.)

+The sense of an ending.

4 Comments

  1. Oooooo I LOVE Bob Seger! I spent a lot of time listening to his greatest hits CD. He’s a local boy around here. He went to the same high school as my mom, although he was nearly a decade ahead of her. Side note – Ken Burns was in her graduating class, and Jim and John Harbaugh were there at the same time as my aunt. Super random! Anyway, I guess I have always thought of Bob Seger’s music as “summer driving music” but the more I think about this one, the more I see autumnal themes to ponder on a November morning. And of course this stage of parenting definitely feels like running against the wind!! Thanks for this reminder to put him back in my musical rotation!

    That white blouse with the black tie and the square neck dress would be perfect if I still had an office job! And I might need that Sea dress since my younger daughter is Sylvie 🙂

    1. What a small world!! And what a talented high school…! I can totally see Seger as summer driving music, too. There’s something expansive (?) about the tableaus he draws in his lyrics that makes me want to kick off my shoes and run through a field. Haha 🙂

      Um, the Sylvie namesake is a SIGN! The dress must be yours.

      xx

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