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something unstoppable

liz lamoreux

I am editing (in bed...because I work from home...and I can...and it is chilly today and I like being under the covers) and listening to my new nano. Paul Simon is singing the songs from his new album. I close my eyes and pretend for a moment that he is sitting on a chair with his guitar, right here in my room, singing:

If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You can't remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star

I have been listening to these words since I heard him sing them on the Academy Awards in 2003. Then I bought this soundtrack. And during the first 40 or so times I listened to these next words, I cried.

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Something about this song...my heart feels grief, hope, joy at the same time.

And then Paul begins a new tune, one I am just beginning to feel in my soul. These words...

Once upon a time there was an ocean
But now it's a mountain range
Something unstoppable set into motion
Nothing is different, but everything's changed

My head bobs to the beat. I feel my shoulders begin to sway from side. Left. Center. Right. Center. Feeling the beat in my heart. My hips begin to move. I sit up away from the pillows piled high behind me. I ask him to start the song again. My fingers begin to snap with the rhythm. My hands rise above my head. Snap. Sway. Snap. Sway. I breathe deeply. Something unstoppable. Snap. Sway. Hips move. Head moves, side to side. Snap. I do not even realize, but I have started to add sound. I do not know the words so I sing to the beat. I feel chills as he surprises me with these lines.

I figure that once upon a time I was an ocean
But now I'm a mountain range
Something unstoppable set into motion
Nothing is different, but everything's changed

And the first tear falls. How did he know? I close my eyes and fold my body forward. Still swaying from side to side. Left. Center. Right. Center. My head comes to the covers of the bed. I take a breath. Something unstoppable. Breathe. Sway. Left. Center. Right. Center. Breathe.

Nothing is different. I am me. Sitting here. Working. Breathing. A woman, daughter, wife, lover, friend. Feeling my body's rhythm through music. Feeling my beat as I breathe. I love words, singing, lilies of the valley, blue, twirly skirts, the touch of my husband, and peanut butter on bananas. I wear the same favorite pair of pajama pants to bed, have the same best friend, still love to watch reruns of MASH.

Something unstoppable set into motion. Life. This is the part you cannot anticipate. Life happens. It just moves forward. All the time. With every breath, second, sigh, laugh, tear. Life moves you forward.

Everything's changed. My heart has been broken. Though I thought I knew pain, I thought I knew, on a day in April in 2005, life handed me something else. And the echo of this moment will reverberate through me forever. I can be laying in savasana at the end of a yoga practice far away from all I know. And I can drift into that place of calm and quiet. For a moment I forget I know this pain and nothing is different. But the mind knows what the heart wants to forget, and I am forced to remember. The tears fall. But then today. These words, a different reminder. Through the pain, through the momentum of living in my life, I have found myself.

Something unstoppable set into motion. My shoulders sway from side to side. My arms lift above me. Snap. Sway. Left. Center. Right. Center. Hips move to the left then right. As the rhythm finds me, the words twirl into my heart.

Thank you Paul.

(The first song mentioned above is "Father and Daughter." The second, "Once Upon a Time There Was an Ocean." Both can be found on his new CD. iTunes. It's a beautiful thing.)