Ordinary Rockstar (Scintilla Redux)

Today’s Scintilla prompt

Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?

sent me back immediately to a moment in time, October 2010.

I was in the middle of two major and  intersecting life renovations. Both of them beat me up emotionally and twisted up my sense of identity. The experience (construction of a new room, and construction of four children) created so much noise in my life, any chance of ever being alone with my thoughts felt like its own kind a circus.

I don’t remember the song. It’s incidental to the moment. I do remember the wave of every day longing that echoed across the few brief moments of “me time.”

Here is the post I wrote that day.

Ordinary Rockstar

On Accidental Meetings with Angst
Interior Dash - "All the Minor Adjustments We Need" - E. Howard via iPhone 4 and Hipstamatic

Today I was driving in the minivan across the river, when it hit me.

I needed to screech.

All these letter-perfect songs played themselves out over the speakers all day, telling me that the dull edged blade I was balancing on was tuned just right.

I kept opening my mouth to sing along. But I couldn’t make a sound.

Except to scream at the top of my lungs.

Everybody Hurts. Sometimes.

The most frightening truth I have met while driving around in my life is that no matter how enormous my heart swells, and no matter how many trillions of pieces I feel as though I’ve shattered into, at the end of the day, I see that I am (like you and everyone else), quite simply:

ORDINARY.

I carry around a heavy bridge. I need it for the canyon crossing.  On one side is my tall, lanky, rockstar, who says all the right things at the right times and who rolls around in perfect love and desire.

On the other is that stubby, fuzzy-haired suburban housewife. The one I never recognize in the reflection in a store window.

Most of the time, I am pretty good at dispelling the rockstar. I am grounded. I’ve let bygones be bygones. I push down the teased hair and zen out on the soccer field sidelines. I am one with the juice box.

But once in awhile, by accident, something or someone reminds me of the other possibility. The raking hot coals get stoked because they weren’t ever completely cold.

And I look downdowndown. Into the canyon, swaying on the ropey bridge. My knees shudder and melt away.

It’s hard to identify “ordinary” at these moments. Even if I know they are.

A few good rockstar screams help.

Thanks to the Scintilla Project leaders for great prompts. Read more great stories by popping over to #Scintilla13 on Twitter.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

 

  2 comments for “Ordinary Rockstar (Scintilla Redux)

  1. March 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Boy, do I recognize the feelings here. There’s nothing quite as surprising as leaving the house, feeling like you’re ROCKING it…you feel GOOD. Then, you catch a glimpse of yourself just before the grocery store doors part and you think, “Ugh…she could have at least changed her shirt!” and “Oh, crap. That’s me.” I know that scream, that screech. I know that feeling of, “Is this my life now?” Most days, I’m fine with it. During other fleeting moments, I wonder why I’m not sitting in a little cafe in Paris or strolling some exotic beach.

    This one really resonated with me! We are sister (rock star) spirits!

  2. March 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Ha, you rock. Oh wait…. Well, you know what mean. The older I get, the more I revel in my inner ordinary. But also, sometimes, I scream 🙂

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