Wheel in the Sky

Leave it to Steve Perry & Company to put things in perspective. Released in 1978, the year I turned double digits, Journey’s Infinity holds the spot as the first LP I ever owned, a Christmas present from my uncle . . . the quiet one who used to take me to the local pool with him and his ever-present, smarty-pants girlfriend so I could sit on the concession counter and get oohed and aahed over. The pint-sized people magnet.

“Wheel in the Sky” moved me. Still does. I never spent much time trying to figure out what they were actually referring to. Some speculate the song is about Ezekiel’s wheel and its whirlwind of fire. Others say the song finds its roots in Greek mythology. And still others say it simply, and beautifully, refers to the revolutions of the Sun . . . the endless passing of time. That works for me. We move through life and experience things that are at once exhilarating and monotonous. And the big wheel keeps on spinning. “Don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.” Indeed.

Such has been my life as of late. I haven’t sat down to write in over a week and I’ve missed it. This blogging thing is more than an addiction. It’s become a passion, spurring things inside me that have sat dormant for too long. There’s more ramblings to come, so stay tuned . . .

But now, for those of you playing along at home, here’s a quick rundown of my past week and the things that have kept me away:

Working in a manufacturing facility has its ups and downs. Downs dominate as of late. There have been rumors of yet another layoff swirling around. The housing industry is in the toilet and it seems no one needs a new furnace, air conditioner or thermostat. Yeah we’re pumping them out, but they sit in some warehouse, waiting for people to get those stimulus checks so they can go shopping. Meanwhile we’ve had three layoffs in two years. Because of my classification I’ve managed to avoid losing my job up to this point. But now it’s time for those who volunteered not to work, who have more seniority than me, to return. Which means its time to start hacking from the bottom up. I’ve sent letters of concern to both the union and the company. I’ve let my voice be heard. But in a company this size, there are too many ears and they aren’t always connected to brains thinking in unison. So my time will probably come by the end of this week. I’ll keep you posted . . .

I took the final for my Principles of Logic class yesterday. Logic for Dummies and I developed a heated relationship, spending hours and hours full of days together getting to know one another intimately. I caressed it with the fine point of my yellow highlighter. Devoured its pages with intensity close to madness. And now it sits discarded at the bottom of my book bag. Tossed aside like a cheap whore. I got what I came for, then hit the deck running. I’m fairly certain that I’ll get an A. Whoo-de-freakin’-whoOO! Now I have a couple weeks before I start a summer Ethics course with one of my favorite professors. There is sunlight on the horizon . . .

I spent the few free hours I could scrounge reading Alison Smith’s excellent memoir titled Name All the Animals. She tells a sentiment-fee yet heart-gripping story of grieving the loss of her older brother in a freak car accident. Shaky faith and tremendous loss combine to wreak havoc upon both her and her parents as they try to figure out how to go on living amidst the unspoken pain. Her account of unconsciously creating and then holding on to irrational coping mechanisms is told with very little in the way of condemnation or judgment. Three years of pounding despair wrapped in frailty and discovery.

A favorite scene: Alison spent much of her youth being afraid of the dark. One day, her brother Roy takes her hand before leading her out under stars, and tells her, “There is no night. Just the dark part of the day.” I actually stopped reading at that point. It’s been a while since something so small took my breath away.

Read the book for yourself. You can thank me later.

File this under “Happy News”. I learned that King’s X, one of my longtime favorite bands, has a new album coming out on May 20th. I first met the X in 1991 after the release of Out of the Silent Planet. “See the bread / See the wine / See the graft into the vine.” That was the snippet of lyrics published in an article in CCM magazine about bands in the mainstream that have a Christian slant to their music. They ended up fighting the “Christian” label for years, releasing darker and moodier albums and shying away from any sort of positive exposure that sought to elevate the message over the music. I’ve always admired the way they wear the truth in all of its ugliness. Their impact on me as a young adult stretching for something real was so great I named my firstborn son after their guitar player.

Now I have a new CD to wait impatiently for . . . It’s gonna be a rockin’ summer after all!

So, yeah, I’ve been busy living. The wheel keeps turning. I really don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow. But for now I’m here. And it’s good to be back . . .

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5 thoughts on “Wheel in the Sky

  1. aww. i’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    great post.

    blogging (the writing process, leaving comments, joining communities) is becoming an addition, a passion, the best parts of my day.

  2. Thanks, Lissa. Blogging is indeed addictive, and I find I need more than a few hours each day to do this thing right. Now I have a few to spare.

    Glad you dropped in . . .

  3. Good Luck! We’ll be sure to keep you and your family in our prayers. Keep up the great work on the blog… it seems to be as addicting to read as it is to write. I look forward to every new post.

  4. Hey, as a fellow old-school Journey fan, I thought I’d mention that their new “Revelation” CD – with the 3rd Steve Perry soundalike replacement (this one is Filipino!) is pretty good. There are 3 or 4 of the 11 new tracks that are very, very good and the remainder are still enjoyable. It’s remarkable just how much of Steve Perry’s personality – not just the sound – this new guy has.

    Also, as a fellow 80s music throwback, I suspect you’d really enjoy the new self-titled 3 Doors Down CD.

  5. Thanks for the info about the new Journey. I’ve got some Pepsi Points left, so I may have to download a few of those songs from amazon.

    My son likes 3 Doors Down. I saw that at Best Buy the other day and almost picked it up. Now I’m gonna have to reconsider . . .

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