The need for a change of scene arose a couple of weeks ago. I became road weary. My engagement with life in my motorhome was waning. I struggled with the feelings. I din’t want to be a quitter. But when sustained personal engagement ebbs, it’s time for a change. For some, fulfillment is the American dream of earning a handsome income, procuring assets, and looking good to the outside world. For me, success is engagement.
I was asked yesterday if I enjoyed my five months on the road. I don’t enjoy driving long distances by myself in a 5 ton gas guzzling behemoth. I enjoyed the places I went, the friends with whom I spent time, and being outdoors. The capstone of the last five months was getting to know myself better. The bittersweet part has been been heightened awareness that life is spontaneously combustible. Enjoyment isn’t a constant. Ups and downs are part of the rhythm.
While living in Nashville, singer songwriter John Hiatt wrote “Memphis In the Meantime” in 1987. It is about changing locations and getting a new outlook on life. He sings of weariness of the Nashville scene and its music style. He said, “Cause one more heartfelt steel guitar chord, girl it’s gonna do me in. I need to hear some more trumpet and saxaphone, you know sound as sweet as sin.” Horns are Memphis music’s counterpart to Nashville’s steel guitar. Hiatt needed a change of pace. I know the feeling.
I returned to Memphis a couple of weeks ago. I purchased a car, and I leased a downtown condo for a six month term. I’m surprised to find myself back in my home town. Six months ago I needed to get out of here. Now I need to have my feet on the ground…right here.
I’m enjoying the rhythm of more space, a kitchen where maneuvering is unrestricted, a shower without a six gallon hot water limit, and a washing machine and dryer in my home.
Hiatt says, “After we get good and greasy, baby we can go back home.” How long will my stint in Memphis last? ‘Til I get good and greasy.