When My Morning Comes Around

After reflecting on a very dark book – Elie Wiesel’s Night – I thought it would be good to take an afternoon walk on this beautiful Spring-like February day.

Some prefer to walk in the quiet woods alone (like Thoreau) to get away from the “quiet desperation” of the lives of the masses.  I prefer to be around people.  I drove to Bloomington, the home of Indiana University, where you can find more people of various shapes, sizes, colors, differ-abilities, orientations and affiliations this side of Chicago.

I lived on the outskirts of Bloomington for about an eternity one month after college.  I had enrolled in the Creative Writing M.F.A. program.  I spent the month smoking too many cigarettes, drinking too much beer, and wallowing in the foreboding sense that my best hope as a creative writer was to some day write a radio commercial that gained some airplay.  I ran out of money, sold half my baseball cards to finish paying the month’s rent and then moved back in to my father’s basement.

But that was then… this is now.  A beautiful sunny day.  A job prospect on the horizon.  A second short story nearly finished.  Some faith-based friendships forming.  I drove the winding road with a breeze in my face and John Prine on my MP3 player.

When I got to Bloomington, I realized parking would be an issue.  If you want to park near camp us, you need a student pass.  No problem, I’ll just pull into this Village Pantry lot and ask these friendly students where visitors park.  They kindly paused their conversation and gave me clear directions to a public lot.  When I pulled into a slot, I discovered I had an hour and a half left on the meter.  For an investment of less than a buck, I’m good for the afternoon.
By this time my travel mug of coffee had flowed down my urinary tract and I needed to use the restroom.  No problem, I’ll just ask this man waiting for a bus.  Sure enough, he pointed out the public library just over a block away.  Not only was I able to relieve my bladder, but I stopped by the “Indiana Room” and did some research for my next story (set in 1963 Bloomington).
No sooner had I finished looking through their files than my phone rang.  It was an evangelist from here in Bloomington I had contacted about having coffee.  He had some free time and we arranged to meet at “Blooming Foods”.   He asked me my story.  I asked him about his work.  We agreed to stay in touch.  He prayed for me.  It was a nice connection.
I then headed back to the library.  The sun was even brighter and I shed the windbreaker I was wearing.  Dwight Yoakum serenaded me on the walk back and I noticed the trees here are dressed in hemp-like sweaters.
Now I’m in the music room, listening to Iris Dement, sipping on my Decaf coffee in no particular hurry to leave, with no particular desire to be anyplace but right here, right now.
The first song on this Iris Dement CD really set the tone (and title) for this post.  I’d like to conclude with this, and the question –  “What will you do when your morning comes around?”
Iris DeMent at The Living Room for WFUV by wfuv
(Iris DeMent at The Living Room… from wfuv, some rights reserved)
When my mornin’ comes around, no one else will be there
so I won’t have to worry about what I’m supposed to say
and I alone will know that I climbed that great big mountain
and that’s all that will matter when my mornin’ comes around
When my mornin’ comes around, I will look back on this valley
at these sidewalks and alleys where I lingered for so long
and this place where I now live will burn to ash and cinder
like some ghost I won’t remember
When my mornin’ comes around When my mornin’ comes around, from a new cup I’ll be drinking
and for once I won’t be thinking that there’s something wrong with me
and I’ll wake up and find that my faults have been forgiven
and that’s when I’ll start living
When my mornin’ comes around
(to hear Iris Dement sing “When My Morning Comes Around”, click here)

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