From departure to arrival, what does it mean to travel?

My daughter Clare is one of my most trusted music advisors. For one thing, we have similar taste, since she and her brother were subjected to a lot of my music back in the day when I still controlled them. But Clare is a more avid seeker of new music than I, and has shaped my listening as well. So when she told me firmly to buy Mary Chapin Carpenter’s new album, I didn’t hesitate. 

Mary Chapin, y’all. I’ve been a fan for 30+ years, since another friend turned me on to her. “The Things That We Are Made Of” is rich, evocative, and old-soulish, even more than her usual. [Edit: read the NPR review here.] The guitar is like spiced chocolate, or liquid silver. I am listening to it over and over on my flight from Austin to London. The title of this post comes from the album: the whole thing is full of maps, and roads, and traveling. This album is destined to feature prominently in the soundtrack of my sabbatical. 

And from taking off to landing, you can feel your heart expanding (MCC)

In fact, I have just decided to listen only to new music on my travels. This is completely antithetical to my normal pattern: I like time-honored, memorized music. But suddenly, accompanying my new experiences with new music seems like the best idea I’ve ever had: I’ve got this fabulous new wineskin, it deserves new wine. 

Thanks, Clare. See you in Dublin.

Flat Polycarp enjoyed the nonstop flight

One thought on “From departure to arrival, what does it mean to travel?

  1. Cathy, I’m loving traveling with you. Before traveling I often make new playlists. In Iceland, my friend and I are only listening to Icelandic artists on our drives. It makes such a difference. Love and prayers, Beth F.

    Guð blessi þig Beth+ in Iceland


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