Muggy Mid-July State of Mind
Oh, my muggy mid-July state of mind! Can’t seem to focus my thoughts on anything productive. The air is heavy on my shoulders and drapes itself in a shiny layer onto my skin. I feel stuck and can’t find the energy to make a move. My musings take a turn for the worse as my wondering and worrying settle in. To be sure, I do like the moist warmth of summer with my bare feet on a mossy lawn, wearing shorts and t-shirts all day long. But this mid-summer ennui muddles my head. I am not bored exactly. “Bored” is a four-letter word in our house. I am just at a still point in my experience of time and meaning. It reminds me of a another July from years gone by:
Was wishing my head was as clear as this midnight sky
Spread across my muggy mid-July state of mind
Was wanting my heart to be free like this summer breeze
Singing through your fingers on the guitar strings…
Under the Weather
In my family, we often blame bodily afflictions and bad moods on the weather patterns. Feeling head-achey today? Could be a low-pressure system coming in. Feeling lethargic or sad? Maybe all of this rain is getting to you, stirring up mildew and mold allergies. Honestly, the seasons affect the way I see the world. I would not be surprised if the sultry atmosphere literally clouds my vision and clogs up my body and soul. Maybe mid-July is a natural time for looking back over my shoulder, wondering where spring has gone and for stretching my neck ahead, worrying about fall coming on:
But I’m looking back, wondering where the time we spent went
I’m looking ahead, worrying about time that hasn’t been yet
The Only Moment
I wrote this lyric many a mid-summer’s night ago. Like a dream, 27 years have passed since that moment in my life. Before kids and current concerns, I was young and wrestling with my experience of time and meaning. Some things never change. Scott and I were sitting on that tiny slab of patio behind our one-bedroom apartment in Nashville. We were newlyweds and newly-moved, wondering what was to come as we worked on our music together. I remember that particular July night in which Scott was relaxed and playing his guitar while I was anxious and struggling to be in the moment. We were about to record our first CD and make our way in the music world. As usual, my heart was off kilter, tilting backwards in wonder at the time gone by and also leaning forward in worry about what was to come. However, I knew where I wanted my head and heart to be:
The only moment I can see is here as clear as your love for me
The only moment I should be living is this one we’re in, this one
In this moment in 2017, another summer swelters and Scott and I sit on the back patio of our home with so much to be grateful for. The kids and the music have come and gone in sweet succession. I can look back and ahead with lots of evidence against speculation and fretting. Some things do change and I realize I am saturated in back-patio peace. In spite of the weather, my head and heart are clear. As I revel in the pleasure of where we are, I can treasure the time–this time– and let the music and the days take my heart where they will. I can’t live the moments all at once. The only moment in which I can live is this one we’re in, this one.
If you’d like to hear the song and the rest of the lyric, it’s on the Out of the Grey CD in iTunes. For more stories behind the songs, check out my book, Lifelines: Tracing My Journey in Story and song.
16 thoughts on ““The Only Moment”: The Story Behind the Song”
i was listening to this very song last week while I was working. I work part time as a screen printer. I work in 5 hour shifts so I put on different mixes help me through the work day. It was very hot and muggy and the AC went out but the heater that cures the ink didn’t. When the line, “muggy mid-July state of mind” stuck out like a sore thumb. I have heard this song MANY times throughout the years but this time I heard it afresh and anew. As I sang out,in my head of course, this moment, only THIS one stood out. I was having my own very muggy mid-July state of mind moment. But then the refreshing line of THIS moment swept over me. I feel that my work at the shop isn’t just about screen printing but interacting with the people that I am around. I hope that through the work day they experience the fragrance of He who makes me alive. After silently singing along I was refreshed enough to finish out that very hot, muggy day in Key West. Thanks for sharing this and sharing your own journey through the mid- July times. I like hearing your heart behind the songs. Wishing you a refreshing rest of July.
This is an Awesome Read Christine. Reflectioning especially in when we are older is always a Great thing to do. Remember back in my life of all the photosessions and people I have met sometimes just blows my mind when I am bored or down at times. And I remembering you and Scott playing in the 90’s at Festival of The Arts at CPA. Is your book on audible.com? I will haveto pick it up, or download it! Keep Blogging and Writing and Seeing Songs! Blessings to You and Scott and Family! U ROC!
Gary, thanks for the sweet encouragement!
Thanks, Deb. Good to know I can sweat with the best!
Loved these thoughts and I love that song. You rock.
Heather, thanks !!!
Thanks for sharing, Christine! Love the explainers. The Only Moment and Time Will Tell are my faves from that album, but they were all so good. When a friend lent it to me and I saw the cover, I loved the quirkiness of those half smiles and felt connected even before I heard the songs. A few weeks ago, I put the greatest hits CD in my car, and it’s been a great comfort to hear a familiar voice sing to the very different person I am now compared to when I played these songs in the 90s. Time Will Tell… maybe that was a “filler” song to someone else, but to me, it was my “It gets better” mantra in high school thru college. With time, it did get better. That song was a true blessing to me and still is. I never thought I’d be able to thank you for it actually, so I’m a little choked up at getting the chance to. It has made the song all the more precious to me. Thank you, Christine and Scott.
Jeff, this makes me soooo happy!
I love the line that your heart was off kilter, concurrently tilting backward and also leaning forward, not willingly staying in the present moment. I so relate to your struggle and love your candor.
Pegs, you get me, Friend!
I feel like I could have written these words. It’s the season we’re in. Our kids getting older our lives changing, morphing.
Morphing is right!
Heard ya’ll at CREATION Festival, 92ish.
Still my favorite album of OOTG.
That sounds about right–long time! Thanks, Erik.
This is a great piece and a great song…mom is going for her 2nd mamogram to make sure the calcium deposits are not cancer…Can’t worry about what’s ahead…can only deal with now…please send prayers for her. Donna is her name. thanks…keep up the great writing. 🙂
Yes, may you live fully in the NOW and may good news come to your mom!