Better Homes and Arias – I’m Breathing In, I’m Breathing Out

… so slip inside this funky house.

It is a fact of age that home has replaced voice as the central metaphor for my life.

Lately my blog has added home as a new theme to my various motifs. “The home” has always been in my thinking and writing, but it’s surfacing differently these days.

This is a year of symmetry and reckoning for me. I reckon fifty years of life, twenty five of them sober, one of them divorced. I lived in my house just a year, now, with it as mine alone. Poverty forced me into transience, from place to place for thirty years. I reckon I’ve lived in thirty different places, because I counted them up once or twice.

Once in a Lifetime became the theme song for this blog, at a crossroads, when I returned to blogging and put up a new website design after my marital dissolution. Another apt David Byrne song is Like Humans Do. Unfortunately, that song was the Microsoft song, so it felt too corporatized to use even though I believe it is quite a lovely update to Once In a Lifetime. David Byrne is not only brilliant, but also an excellent icon for media ecology. Witness his fascinating TED talk on the way that architecture informs the development of musical genres.

Both of Byrne’s songs are about the stultifying dailiness of suburban life, of the quotidian in a ticky-tacky box. Sometimes I hear these two songs as malaise, sometimes as soft-sung yearning, and sometimes as just a sweet acknowledgement of life’s steady ebbs and flows. That is what my presumably middle class life is about, the flat affect of plodding forward punctuated with occasional human drama.  See, it’s just like humans do, nomadic or rooted, this plodding forward.

The thing is, if I sing about it, at least in the shower, and write about it, I get to have house and voice both. Here’s to Better Homes and Arias.

  Like Humans Do

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *