This morning as I pulled into my garage after a quick errand, a favorite 80s song came on the radio: “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg. Although I had a list of chores to tackle, nothing was urgent. I turned off the car and settled with my newly-acquired Starbucks smoothie to listen for a few minutes.
The song tells of a musician who encounters his old lover in a grocery store on a snowy Christmas Eve. Its imagery is very poignant: joy at an unexpected meeting, reminiscing over drinks in her car, trying unsuccessfully to talk about how they truly felt, going their separate ways. I’ve had one or two similar experiences in my life. As the music was ending, I found myself awash in regret and loss for the characters, and for me.
And then … I felt exhilaration. Not because the song was sad, but because I FEEL — intensely, overwhelmingly, to the exclusion of everything else, if only for a moment. Because I am still alive to feel it. Because emotions are part of this human experience.
And without lung cancer, I might never have appreciated that.
Inspired, I grabbed my purse and smoothie and hurried in to write. What a great way to start the day!