Life on the Loose

In response to a recent post, my friend Megan left a comment with the lyrics to “Moon River,” which led me to think of songs that in some way inspire me, that capture in lyrics the way I feel or what I aspire to, particularly in regards to this trip and travel in general. Of course, this led to a far-reaching mental journey that transported me through space and time. Music is very powerful. Like smells, music has a way of taking us back, of capturing a particular moment or feeling, of reminding us of a special person.

As I pondered, I was transported back to a very specific place, Bear Creek Aquatic Camp, on the shores of Kentucky Lake. As a girl, I used to spend some time every summer at Bear Creek. In some ways, I think this camp, though still within the borders of my home state, really had a significant impact on the development of my love of travel and adventure. I started going there in fourth grade, so it was the first place I went without any family. It was a place of new routines, new food, new adventures. It might as well have been a million miles away from home. I did things there that seemed exotic and crazy to my ten-year-old self. I learned to windsurf, sail, and water ski. I challenged myself to a half-mile-long lake swim. I met new people, made new friends. I mastered the art of showering in a stall where the water was lukewarm at best and controlled with a pull string.

And I learned the lyrics to a lot of songs. And I remembered them. If you know me, you know that I can pull out lyrics to the most nonsensical and ridiculous songs at any moment without any trouble. Need a song about a crazy acorn, a girl sucked down a shower drain, a fly in a grocery store? I’m your girl. But not all the songs were silly. It was at Bear Creek that I was introduced to Bob Dylan, John Denver, and a slew of other folk singers. And it was in the fire circle at the point, looking out across the water to Land Between the Lakes, that I learned the song “On the Loose.” The first time I heard it, it spoke to me, and more than a decade and a half later, I still find that the words capture for me something that I otherwise find hard to put into words.

The chorus seems the most pertinent, summarizing in just a few lines a creed of sorts for the way I want to live. And I can’t hear the words without remembering those summers at Bear Creek: the smell of pine, the feeling of my hair in the wind as I cruised across the lake, the warmth of a campfire under a starry sky, the feeling of freedom, of unbridled joy, of absolute certainty that I could and would live the life I imagined. Life seemed full of possibility. As we plan this trip, life, again, seems that way.

On the loose to climb a mountain
On the loose where I am free
On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be
For I’ve only got a moment
And a whole world yet to see
I’ll be searching for tomorrow on the loose

4 Replies to “Life on the Loose”

  1. Tangential to this specific blog entry…

    Amanda and I were discussing board games, and I mentioned Encore. Although I know how annoying it is to play this game with you, Amanda thinks it sounds like a good idea.

    You own the game, correct? I think I gifted to you at some point,corret?

    Well, although I know this is a bad idea, Amanda thinks you should bring the game home at XMAS. Amanda also thinks I’m a bad sport when it comes to board games. I think you can tell where I think this is going to end up….

  2. Yeah, playing Encore with Theresa is painful. It’s a fun game though, and usually has very little to do with whats going on on the board. But at least she doesn’t just make up songs like your dad does (or every song is Boris the spider).

  3. They’re called “bored” games for a reason. The only musical game I’ll be playing over Xmas break is Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Wii!

    My Christmas caroling won’t be a game. I take that shit seriously!

  4. This doesn’t directly apply to this post, but its part of your to-do list so I thought I’d post it where you are most likely to see it, here at the most recent post.

    May I suggest Panoramio for your photo sharing as you can “map” the picture using Google Map/Earth and therefore if we aren’t exactly sure where the photo is from, we’ll get a better idea. Think of it as a mini geography lesson. Just a suggestion, though I’m sure you’ll need a few photo sharing accounts with all the photos you’ll have.

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