When this list of Woody Guthrie’s “New Year’s Rulin’s” popped up on the internet a year ago, it became an instant classic of the season. Which means that the time has rolled around to remember it, reread it and take it again to heart. There’s a rulin’ on it to suit just about anybody because it never hurts to be reminded “Don’t get lonesome,” “Stay glad,” “Dream good” and “Love everybody.” Also, “Wash teeth if any.”
Happy New Year everybody!
Via Lists of Note
Gonna reblog this every New Year’s for as long as I’m on this twisted site.
Nothin But The Wheel: On Ladies and Leavin
When I was a little girl there was nothing dreamier than country music radio. Especially a good leavin song. There was something so romantic about the imagery of a woman on the road with nothing but truckers’ headlights and late night country radio to keep her company. Obviously, the top would be down because she drove a badass car. The air would be just cool enough so she’d need a denim jacket. She’d stop once or twice for coffee served by truckstop waitresses in pink pastel uniforms. She’d be off to a new start somewhere exciting like Tuscon. Or Reno. Or Memphis. It didn’t matter. What mattered was she was in complete control of her life and the lyin’, cheatin’, cold, dead-beatin’, two timin’, double dealin’, mean, mistreatin’ lovin’ man who wore fitted white Hanes t-shirts and smelled of Stetson cologne was gonna be so sorry when he finds her gone.
"I can’t wait for a man to crap all over my life too!" —8 year old me
Today the idea of driving alone at night is often terrifying because of inevitable truckstop predators and gang initiations that countless email chainletters have warned me about. But the imagery still resonates.
When did country women get pushed into the passenger seat? What happened to the country songs about leavin? Country songs about women that actually exist? Country songs about grown-ass adults? Obviously they’re still being written because of Brandy Clark and Elizabeth Cook and Ashley Monroe and Valerie June and countless other immensely talented women who enjoy little to no airplay. What’s it going to take for them to get some recognition? Is K.T. Oslin going to have to rise from the ashes like the beautiful phoenix she is and make Luke Bryan cry? I’ll be waiting.
Until then, we’ll always have the highway. And Patty Loveless.
I’m madly in love with Brandy Clark’s new album.
Teen witches ruled by Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates? This gon be gooooood y’all.
For the record my dream boudoir is rigged to play Conway Twitty’s “Lay You Down” when the lights dim.
so I’m looking at craft and home decor blogs for inspiration (because apparently I’m a suburban mom) and couples’ bedroom wall art has to be the work of Satan’s Etsy shop.
I know that I’m an unloved single woman and the most passion my bed sees is the intimacy I share with Verts beef-lamb kebabs but I am not here for these *~love~* quote decals. I have a map of Texas over my bed to remind all parties to go big or go to Oklahoma.
This song’s not as empowering as I remember it being but that didn’t stop me from totally killing it in the car today.
A few weeks back a man prayed for me outside of an H.E.B.
I’ve been thinking about this incident periodically ever since. Not because it’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me at H.E.B. — that would be the time a middle-aged man polled me in the produce section on what girls in their late 20s found attractive and then regaled me with a lengthy tale of meeting up with a lady escort — but because it coincides with a time that I was (and am) feeling particularly lost about my place in the world.
So when Moses (seriously, that was his name), a young dude wearing a freshly starched button down and Wranglers and smelling like the inside of your Grandad’s barber shop, approached me in the parking lot telling me God had told him to pray for me and asked permission to bow heads with me then and there on the pavement, with the sun searing down on us like the grasp of Satan’s tentacles, I allowed it. And felt oddly comforted, which is weird for me. It didn’t hurt that he was kind of a fox.
Religion always seemed to come so easy to every one else and I used to wonder why it eluded me. It wasn’t for lack of trying. As a pre-teen, I would pray multiple times a day, kneeling before my mom’s ceramic Virgin Mary and Jesus statues, asking God to come into my life and save me from hell. Still no word on that.
I read the church prayer list so compulsively I could recite the names from memory because I was convinced that without my prayers (said at least two times a day on the regular), someone would surely die. That’s messed up.
I was genuinely confused when classmates and teachers discussed the number of people saved at church the previous night. Saved. I had no idea what that meant. Thirty people were washed of all sins and free to live a life free of guilt and shame at your church potluck while I’ve been over here turning cartwheels for Jesus to no avail? I was a little pissed.
Once I attended a church-sponsored Hell House, which is basically a series of after-school special cautionary tales in haunted house form. At the end we all had to meet with someone from the church to discuss our Friend-Of-Jesus status. I thought this could be my chance to get some answers. Surely this woman could help me understand why I was being totally Christblocked.
She asked if I was saved. I answered honestly.
"I’m not sure."
She looked at me like I had just admitted to drawing pentagrams and drinking blood with Marilyn Manson and Aleister Crowley.
"How can you not be sure?"
I was at a loss. All those years of relentlessly searching for faith sent me careening away from religion for the next decade or so. But Moses wasn’t talking about religion. He was talking about God. The G-Man. The Alpha-Omega 3 supplement. Alanis Morissette in Dogma.
He said “Religion tries to apply God to itself, but God is bigger than religion.” I feel that, Moses.
There he was. My very own Roma Downey in the flesh. Touched By A Sexy Angel.
Maybe it was time for me to re-introduce myself to God and see where things stood. The first thing I did was listen to every Johnny Cash song about Jesus that I could find. That took a while. Then I started really thinking about God for the first time in a long while.
Do I know God?
I know what I believe about God.
I believe God has nothing to do with the Christian Coalition. I believe God values the 2nd Amendment as much as he values winning a CMA or Grammy award, which is to say not at all. I believe God is mildly embarrassed when he’s mentioned in most Facebook posts. I believe God would smite Rick Santorum if he wasn’t so busy with other things. I believe God would cry during the final season of Friday Night Lights. I believe Jesus was a Capricorn.
But I can’t truly say I know God. Like, if I invited God to dinner it would be made up of small talk and awkward silences because I’d be too afraid to ask the big questions like: Are we cool? Where will I go when I die? What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us?
I’ve always thought it would be cool if God was like George Burns in those 1970s “Oh, God!” movies. Then we could just hang out and listen to old country gospel songs and get to know each other as people first.
To this day I’m still a little jealous of people who are comforted by their relationship with God. I mean truly comforted. An-F5 tornado-just-leveled-my-entire-life-but-I-am-grateful-because-my-redeemer-lives kind of comfort. Obviously I can’t imagine going through that kind of pain and suffering but to have that kind of faith in an intangible thing, that’s what Johnny was singing about. And I still think that’s a special thing.
Have I just been lazy? I mean, it’s on me, right? New Testament God isn’t in the lightning bolt business anymore. We’re dealing with a much more laidback Messiah now. I know some will roll their eyes at this but there’s a small part me that wonders: what if God were trying to reach out to me? And my response was “I’ll write a blog post about this LOL.” Sorry, God. I’m a confused, questioning but ultimately willing listener. Like Joan of Arcadia.
Maybe my God is already in my life and I’ve yet to recognize it. I really still have no idea. But I think I’m finally starting to make peace with that. Thanks, Moses.