God the DJ and Adventures for a Lifetime
“We are diamonds taking shape.”
That’s the line in Coldplay’s “Adventure of a Lifetime” that triggered my tears. In spite of my lifelong music passions, I rarely listen to pop music these days. Being a New York-based NPR disciple without a car, it’s rare that I venture beyond my designated stations. The odd occasion was a weekend road trip from Brooklyn to Baltimore.
My partner Paul and I were heading to our second Bar Mitzvah within two years. This one was for the youngest son of his best friend in Baltimore. So many milestones were taking place or on the horizon, including the 20th birthday of Paul’s oldest daughter. On the opposite end, that week yielded transitional events that were not so merry, including the deaths of two significant musicians who shaped my taste in music: Glenn Frey and Maurice White. Doors were opening and closing everywhere.
At that point Paul and I were more than a year into a very unique journey. Strangely enough, we had both lost jobs within a week of each other. His organization had new leadership who wanted to start fresh. My company was beginning structural downsizing. Doors open. Doors close.
This road trip was on a sunny, Friday afternoon in February. Conditions were perfect to scan the radio for the musical equivalent of comfort food. I recall reaching the Delaware Memorial Bridge when no one other than God decided to have our radio find a station that began to play Earth Wind and Fire’s “Getaway.”
Yo, “Getaway”!!!!! That band! Those horns! White and Philip Bailey! This sonic frenzy was building while we were ascending and descending this high arch connecting Delaware and New Jersey. And, it was the day after White’s death. Bless his soul, but it was the perfect road jam for the day.
Within another 20 minutes of scanning for what would suit my mood, I heard this guitar lick that had this intriguing world music flair to it. It was a little mysterious. I needed more.
Then I heard Chris Martin’s voice. I knew Coldplay’s sound. Years back, I purchased two of their CDs: Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. But, this one was a bit new-agey compared to the older content that I knew. Plus, they had many hits since I last really listened to them, so I had no idea if this was new or old.
I listened. It moved me. I like to think that I am a bit open, but I would not classify myself as a “softy.” However, from its title, lyrics and structure, it hit notes of truth that I could appreciate. Paul likes to say that God is the best DJ. He struck again!
Our road trip was the first one taken together since our career displacement. So, there was a sense of empowerment in taking “the open road” with my sweetheart. We were actively seeing what life had for us ahead and celebrating with extended fam. Martin’s "Adventure of a Lifetime" put all of this in a blender and served it up without the syrup. It was joyous!
Nearly two years after the road trip, we are a few weeks away from the first birthday of my daughter. Let the record show that this adventure is challenging and wondrous. We are older parents -- perhaps, Sarah and Abraham are winking at us from the Bible. Our professional paths, while still a bit of a maze, are still giving us hope and strength.
“Under this pressure, under this weight we are diamonds taking shape.”