Tuesday, March 19, 2013

star miles.

Listening To: Sweet Carolina by Ryan Adams
On a housekeeping note: Google Reader is vanishing soon. And I know some of you follow along via Google Reader (I like Google Reader too). My tech-savvy peeps tell me Bloglovin is a fun way to keep up with blogs. I'm just learning how to use it, but I've added an icon over on the right side of the page (just past the uber-cute logo) if you'd like to follow along that way as well. (If you know of another fun way to keep up with blogs, let me know in the comments!) Whichever way you click through, thanks for reading along!

My days aren’t full of movie moments - minutes or hours or plot-twists that would interest many people. But my days are still full of sweet moments I love. Sometimes: 

Rain clatters across the roof. 
My dog curls up in my lap to take a nap. 
I completely, totally scorch bake white chocolate banana nut muffins. 
I listen to Emmylou Harris records.
I write stories. 
I wear bright borderline-tacky pink lipstick. 
I call my best friend. 
I kiss. 
I cry.
I dye my hair.  
But if I had to write my life; actually script it in such a way that it had story-momentum, I’d probably have to make stuff up. Or leave a lot of sweet details out. Even though the sweet details are what I love the most. 

But Sunday night was movie-good. 

Because I was driving home from downtown. And the sky was dark, but the city was just waking up. 

         Cities are night-owls; 
         they screech like sirens 
         and rock songs 
         and rusty breaks. 

I sometimes like that sound. I like it a lot.
And the weather was perfect. March roared into the mountains, but the roar was so soft on Sunday night that I rolled all the windows down. 

I think it would have been a good scene. 

The focus would start with my hand on the steering wheel. I'm wearing a leopard print cuff and bright red nail polish. I reach over to click to the next song. 

The camera pulls back further, and my hair is down, blowing in my face. I start mouthing the the lyrics to a song I love so much. Because that song IS this moment. It’s every moment, every time I hear it. I’m driving between the city and the mountains. I’m surrounded by music, and springtime wind, and by the steady murmur of traffic. 
 Welcome home. 
Come and go.
Pass on through.

When you drive that stretch of road at night, the interstate curves up the mountain in such a way that you see the city lights, and the lights from the houses scattered up and down the hills. 

So in that perfect blink of a moment, it looks like you’re driving through some hidden valley full of fallen stars. 

And it’s like the stars are waiting, for now. 

(But they’re shining, even while they wait.)

Any minute, they’ll shoot off skyward and find a little speck of midnight to cling to, some perfect little spot a million miles away from here. And they’ll look back on this space, this moment right before they flew, and think that was a good place too. 

So that's the scene: I’m driving the star-mile. I’m stretching my hand out the window, so I can feel wind and lyrics and shooting stars burn past my fingertips. 

And right at that moment, when I hit the star-mile, the song finds it’s best lyric, and the timing is perfect. Just like some really awesome chick-flick. 

“Up here in the city, it feels like things are closing in,
The sunset’s just my light bulb burning out.
I miss Kentucky, and I miss my family.
Oh the sweetest winds they blow across the south.” 

And I think: 

I love this moment. Every bit of it. I could cry, I love this moment so much. 
It would be a quick scene; but it would be a good one. I’d fade out smiling. I’d fade out to a Ryan Adams song. 

I’d fade out against a thousand shining stars.

If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be like for this season/scene? (I'm in need of some new music, so make it a long soundtrack! :) 


  1. How are you liking Bloglovin? I transferred everything to Feedly...

    1. The thing I do NOT like about it, is that it contains no full posts. It's like two sentences of a blog ... but then you have to click through. Which really seems no more efficient than just clicking around and reading. Unless I'm doing it wrong? I like the layout of it, but I hate that everything is click through. I'll try Feedly. GR was just so easy. Yar. :)

  2. This post made me ache for the mountains and Chattanooga. I'm still trying to convince my parents to retire there (from Louisiana) so I'll have an excuse to visit often, and a place to stay when I do.

    And those movie-moments? I know exactly what you mean. They happen for me when I'm sharing live music with someone I love. Or driving into a sunset. Or on a humid night with the windows down. I had one last week with my sister and I captured it on Vine. (are you on Vine yet? 'cause I would totally follow you. Srsly.. Biscuit videos? please?) We were driving into the sunset over the swamp with Rend Collective's new album "Campfire" blaring (check them out!) - on our way to a Rend Collective show. And it was one of those perfect moments where you just feel thankful to be alive and free. I've watched that 7 second video clip countless times. But even if I hadn't captured it on video I think it would still be imprinted on my mind.

    Certain songs have a way of doing that for you. Seryn's "We Will All Be Changed" (another great one you must listen to) brings me back to a beautiful road trip up the Natchez Trace. I hear it, and it's like I'm there all over again, re-living the beauty of those moments.

    I pinned this quote by Kurt Vonnegut the other day, "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.' "

    You have beautifully recorded that happy moment. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. Something about sunsets and music together is just guaranteed magic. I feel exactly the same way. I will definitely check out these songs. Also, what is Vine?!

      Love that Vonnegut quote. I've never read that before. That might have to make an appearance in the sidebar for a while.

    2. Vine is the newest form of social media in short, 7 second or less video clips! I was skeptical but it turns out I've found dozens of little things to capture and I enjoy hearing the voices and mannerisms of all the people I follow (stalk) on twitter and instagram.

      Seriously. Vine needs Biscuit videos. And Natalie videos too!

  3. Lovely post! I think those sweet moments are what make life life. They make it worth living. ☺

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. You've got yourself a new follower—if I can figure out this bloglovin' thing. ;)

    1. I'm not sure I can figure out bloglovin either. Oiy. :) Thanks for saying hi! I'm so happy I found your blog. It's positively lovely. :)

  4. What I loved about Google Reader was the Next button. I switched to Bloglovin' because they have a Next button, too. It's a little different from GR but I appreciate that reading through Bloglovin' counts as a pageview for bloggers. Plus, I love the aesthetic experience of visiting the blog.

    1. I might get used to it, and I do like the initial look of it ... but I mostly like to read blogs from my phone, and the click-through makes the whole process so slow. Even though you're right, the aesthetic experience is fun. I'm more in it for the content, but it's cool to see the layout and stuff too, I guess. (Basically this all proves that, regardless of the medium, I am so hesitant to change! :)

  5. This was a lovely post, Natalie. You're such an amazing writer!

    About two or three times a year, I burn a "soundtrack of my life" on a CD and put it in my journal. It's neat to look back and see what my favorite songs were at certain points. :) I haven't quite figured out my current soundtrack just yet. But I have been listening to one group a lot: The Vespers. I just found them a couple of months ago and got their CD "The Fourth Wall," and I really like it. Especially Close My Eyes, Got No Friends, and Lawdy. Those three, stuck almost exactly in the middle of the album, are just awesome. Some of their music has a foot stomping bluegrassy feel, and some of it reminds me so much of Eisley.


    1. Thank you! YOU are a fabulous writer. I love your Project 360 thing because it means you blog more (ha :)

      I really love this idea, of making a list of songs for certain seasons. That's so smart. Why haven't I ever done that? I know the Vespers!! Actually, and this is random, a friend of mine is a big fan. She and her fam started seeing them when they just started touring and now, when they're in the area, they stay at her parents house. I've never seen them in concert but the music is fabulous. I hadn't made the Eisley connection but you're right - SO similar!

    2. That's so awesome about your friend! They played a show about 40 minutes from my house last month, and I'm kind of kicking myself now for not going. :)

  6. Oops, I think I missed the Google Reader announcement. I better figure out how I'm going to keep following blogs!

    I love me some Ryan Adams and particularly that song. This time of year, when I'm beyond sick of winter, I listen to "Feel It All Around" (Washed Out) and pretend I'm in the waves somewhere warm and sunny.

    1. Let me know what you find, and like. I don't adapt well to change, obviously, because the new things I'm trying (like bloglovin and feedly, etc) ... I can't get the hang of them. But I've only tried them for two days so maybe I need to keep at it. Ha :)

      I love Ryan Adams too! Weirdly, I hadn't heard his cover of "Wonderwall" until recently. And then I realized it was him. And I thought - OF COURSE it's him. So much heart in his lyrics. It's like he's telling a story every time he sings a song. I could use some "Feel it All Around" right now. Most definitely.

  7. This post was so beautiful. It made me think of driving home to Knoxville from Nashville. Not long after you cross back into Eastern time and you start to go down Rockwood Mountain, I love to see all the lights in the valley below. I always think of them as twinkling stars. Thank you so much for making me think of home :)

    My new favorite song is "Deer Creek Canyon" by Sera Cahoone. It just makes me think of home.

    Thanks again for such a beautiful post. Your words always make me smile.

    Marie :)

    1. Thanks for sharing this memory with me! That's a gorgeous drive! And so much like this one. Same mountains : ) I'm about to go find some Sera Cahoone. I don't recognize that name, but I'm excited to hear her stuff!

  8. "I was driving the star-mile." You are brilliant Natalie. I don't think my life could be a movie either, it's pretty routine. As far as a soundtrack, I don't know. I'll have to think on it.

  9. I LOVE it when your writing gets all wondrous and poetic like this. Beautiful.

    As for soundtracks, I think you should check out The Lone Bellow (they are the soundtrack to my morning as we speak.. :] ). They are an up-and-coming band, folky/bluegrassy but out of Brooklyn. I think you'd really like them!

  10. This is so beautiful. I think that would make a wonderful movie scene. I love how you describe the road as the "star-mile;" such a pretty picture.

    I felt the same way driving home tonight from a meeting at church. Just such a good combination of happy thoughts. Happy that we got a lot done planning. Happy to talk to a friend on the way to her house. Happy that I feel so important driving home from a meeting. Happy that there is no pressing homework awaiting me. And happy that the air is warm and graduation is a few months away. Spring and summer nights are the best. :)

  11. Your writing actually takes me there! I loved this post. I lived in the shadows of mountains for most of my life, but moved away years ago to a different place. I will always keep those mountains in my heart, just like some keep beaches and the smell of salt in theirs. I am thankful for such a beautiful country. Playlist? Right now I'm totally in love with the Band Perry. Back to the mountains evidently! Lol Loved this post. You are a teller of stories, Miss Natalie!

  12. I might try Bloglovin. Lots of people I know directed me to Feedly, which is good so far. I used to use Feeddemon which I loved because you could comment directly on posts without clicking through to them, which Feedly doesn't offer. But I like it so far.