Inspiration On A Ride In A Pinto

Blogging at WordPress is helping me to learn more about writing than I would probably know otherwise. I’ve never spent time in a formal class for creative, or any other type of writing; and the last time I think I was given a writing “assignment” was in a freshman English class in college.

One of the things I’m learning is that writing prompts are helpful when I am struggling to find something to write about. The prompt I just came across was posted yesterday and has motivated me to write my thank you for today: Describe what it feels like to hear a beautiful piece of music or see a stunning piece of art. It’s got me to think about the music I most enjoy hearing, the music that I am uplifted by when I’m down.

When I feel as though I’m struggling, or need to connect to a force of some kind outside of myself, I listen to Amy Grant. Her earlier music, before she got to be the “queen of Christian pop” and then crossed over to mainstream pop; filled me up when I heard it. The very first song I listened to, “In A Little While” from her Age to Age album, had me hooked. It was back in my freshman year of college on ride home for holiday break in my friend Nate’s Pinto.

1978FordPinto_01_700I was trying to find a ride home because I SO did NOT want to take the bus from Rutland to Providence, again. Walking through the parking lot behind the freshman dorm, where non-commuters parked their cars, I saw a mint green Pinto with a Rhode Island license plate. I left the following note: Hello fellow Rhode Islander! I’m looking for a ride home to Warwick for the break. If you live anywhere near there and are willing to give me a ride, I’ll help with gas $. Thanks, Kelly (Ellis Hall, Rm 304). Later that evening Nate knocked on my door and said he’d be going to Coventry. He would be stopping in Massachusetts though, at a college he was thinking of transferring to the next semester. No problem, I thought, it’s better than taking the bus.

12185150-old-car-radio-stereo-cassette-player-isolated-on-white-backgroundThe Pinto had a cassette player and Nate had lots of tapes to listen to for the 5-hour journey. As we traveled down Route 7 out of Vermont toward Westfield, MA, Nate popped in the Amy Grant tape. I’d never heard her before and was surprised by my reaction to the melody and the lyrics. I wrote down the name of the album so I could find it when I got home–I needed a copy for myself. Not yet stocked in the Record Town at the mall, I had to go to a Christian music/book store to find it. I’ve now got almost every Amy Grant recording on my iPod, thankfully.

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I got to see Amy Grant in concert this past March–a birthday gift from my husband. But really, I have to thank Nate; for the first of several rides home from Vermont to Rhode Island when I was introduced me to the music that moves me.

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