In light of the conclusion to another tax season, which, in a family where both parents are tax professionals, has historically served as an unofficial family holiday, I'm heading home to the farm in Missouri this weekend. I confess that I enjoy songs that in some way express the tension between home and adventure, stasis and growth, the roots and the branches. In an attempt to add flesh to that personal enjoyment, a couple brief examples:
My Daddy told me, lookin' back
The best friend you'll have is a railroad track
So when I was 13, I said I'm rollin' my own
And I'm leaving Missouri and I'm never coming home
- Tom Waits, "Bottom of the World"
Because this veil, it has been lifted
Yes, my eyes are wet with clarity
I've been a witness of such wonders
Oh, I've searched for them all across this country
But I think I'll be returning now to the town where I was born
And I understand you must keep moving, friend, but I'm heading home
- Bright Eyes, "The Big Picture"
Since I recently turned 25, I was able to rent a car for the purpose of my travel for the low, low price of $11/day. I'm reaping the benefits of my old age by not having to include a "young driver surcharge" in my Priceline bids. As I've always loved driving, not having a car of my own around Chicago is occasionally a bit of a drag. I used to love having the freedom to just drive--granted, it isn't as much of a "freedom" in a large city, and it doesn't give the same kind of pleasure. But the open roads between Chicago and home will be just right, and, as our good friend Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes sings on his solo album, "Washed under the black tar, gone beneath my wheels, there's nothing that the road cannot heal."