So, I've been mulling over this song "Somewhere", from West Side Story. Specifically the opening line: "There's a place for us".
It's made me think--where is MY place? MY home?
And, well, the answer turned out to be more complicated than I thought.
Years ago, I wrote a set of songs based on the town where I was born; Twin Falls, Idaho. I recorded an album based on a sense of this place, which I did not know, but which I felt connected to, because I was born there.
There's more. I was given up for adoption right after I was born, and moved to another town. Even though I loved my adoptive family, I still yearned to know my birth family, specifically my birth mother. My songs about Twin Falls, when I wrote them, were essentially a calling card to that mother I had never known. I wanted to send these songs out into the universe on the off chance that maybe she would hear them, someday. My hope was that, in hearing them, she would somehow still KNOW me, in a certain way.
Years passed. Then, suddenly this summer, a miracle happened. Through a series of synchronicities, I was reunited with my birth mother, after 44 years. My world was turned upside down, and right side up, as I navigated these new emotional waters.
As it turns out, she is a folk singer and songwriter. I just sent her my Twin Falls CD, and she sent me a video of her playing guitar and singing from many years ago. Our new stories are just beginning.
A place for me? Well, as I am finding out, it is fluid. It can change all the time, or be constant. Or even be both. Home is a family I know well, and one I am just getting to know. My definition of where my place is in the universe has become wider, and more abundant. And, I feel, it is time for a new set of songs about this. A companion piece to Twin Falls. It is scary to think about revealing my personal story of place, of places, but I know I can start with a note, or a word. I can take my time.
Your place could be your home. Or it could be a nook in your room where you feel safe, or a tree in the schoolyard where you hang out with your friends. It could be your car, your workplace. The whole bustling city. It could be an abstract place, like a heart, or a mind. It could be here, connecting with like-minded souls.
Wherever this place is, I encourage you to write about it. It can start with a very small idea. Here is one of my little songs from Twin Falls. It is called "Little Song". There aren't even words.
I hope to hear from you. All of our places are important. Our individual stories make up this beautiful and crazy world we live in, and unless we add our voices to the mix, the colors won't shine as bright.
What is your story? Where is your place?
See you on the journey..