Every time I hear ‘Rhiannon’ by Fleetwood Mac, I’m transported to a car ride with my mother.
Sunny day circa 1990.
We were cruisin‘…
I remember thinking that song was amazing, powerful, beautiful, a feeling highlighted by the carefree happiness we had going on.
I looked up at my mom once during that ride (and yes, Ralph Nader, I was in the front seat)… that image of her is burned into my memory. A few sandy-brown strands of hair blew around her Wayfarer-style sunglasses, backlit by sunlight, and she looked so cool…
I was like 😍
When I look at her now, I try to hold that thought off to the side & try to remember that she’s just a kid who got big.
It’s helped me be more patient & slow to lose my kindness, which were very much at-risk in previous years especially after I “came out” (which… like… ugh, that term).
Before that, it was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Seeing the ways she supported me, showed that she expected great things for me, and also the ways I felt scared and limited by beliefs and even my own insecurity about stepping too far away & out of my family’s love.
Which brings me to Moana & the tears, specifically because of the song ‘How Far I’ll Go’:
This is not hyperbole: I HAVE NEVER MADE IT THROUGH THAT SONG WITHOUT CRYING. Friend… it’s real.
I wish I could be the perfect daughter… but I come back to the water…
(Puts fist to mouth to hold in the emotions)
See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me… And no one knows, how far it goes…
(Gets the vapors) …also, how precious is that character singing those lines??
One day I’ll know… If I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go
And then I think of everything from the days of college visits to the ways I’ve diverged as I’ve gotten older, then the ways we’ve come back together and what I can learn from them…
And then my whole personal Moana unfolds in my mind… then, the grandma part comes on & your girl goes full-on 😭 … like, gazing-out-of-the-window, weeping big, hot, emotional tears made of the condensed tragedy and comedy of life.
Like, enough tears to end a drought.
It makes me confront a handful of fears and doubts – Am I good enough? Will anyone love the real me? Where do I go from here? – and then…
One day I’ll know
How far I’ll go
And it’s all ✊🏼✊🏼✊🏼 from there (after that 3-minute rollercoaster-in-hail-storm).