Friday Speak Out!: A Forty-Minute Drive With The Bee Gees, Guest Post by Patti Cavaliere
by Patti Cavaliere
There is something about driving in my car and listening to music that triggers profound thoughts. Except that as simple and memorable as they seem at the time, I can’t recall one phrase when I sit down to write. On a forty-minute drive to my parent’s house last month, I decide to play a new CD that I’d bought. It was an old CD really-- a compilation of the Bee Gees.
One song in particular sounds more beautiful than I remembered it being years ago, and more powerful now that one of the Bee Gees is no longer alive. This isn’t just any song-- it’s a love song called Words. I begin to shuffle through the console for a pen and paper. One hand on the steering wheel, I jot down a few thoughts that come to me through music I hadn’t played in years.
After the traffic light, I accelerate into the soft curve of road that dovetails into the highway, and dial up the volume. Barry Gibb’s breathy wobble reverberates through the speakers, and then me. It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away. My body feels as if I’ve been physically touched. Maybe it’s because the song takes me back to a time I can hardly remember now. Maybe it’s something else, too. As a writer, the message is hard to ignore-- none of us will live forever, but our words might.
When I arrive at my destination, I pull into the driveway and leave the key in the ignition until the song finishes. Like a good book, it’s made me feel something that I don’t want to end.
If only it were easy to write words that can take a heart away. If only I could open my heart and let them pour onto the page, maybe then they’d linger like that song.
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