Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thunder Road - Part 2: What else can we do now?

Sometimes life answers our prayers in ways that we don’t expect.

Yes, Mary can hide from the world, throw down the gift of roses and push away the boys that have tried to comfort her. She can wait for some figure, some savior to appear. What Mary doesn’t realize is that the person she is looking for is right in front of her.

He knows he’s no hero. The only way he can bring her “redemption,” bring meaning to her sins and her heartache is ride out into the open road, to escape and find freedom.

He can’t offer her the world but he can help her find it. In the simple joy of feeling the wind in her hair, and the possibility of the open road there is liberation. There’s a sense that anything can happen. With uncertainty mixed with excitement, they’ve got one more chance to strip their wings, the angelic visions of their dreams, for the reality of these wheels that can drive them to everything and anywhere. It’s a transformation from the dreams you’ve prayed for to the blessings you’ve never imagined.

The name “Thunder Road,” an allusion to a Robert Mitchum film brings images of romance, the unknown and mystery. Like a “killer in the sun,” a criminal with no where to hide they can make it to this magical place, their own personal promised land, if they run.

What does he really have to offer her? In a moment of childlike excitement he describes his guitar. There’s a sense that he is trying to impress her but then he quickly pulls back. He knows that it truly is a long walk from her front porch to his front seat. He explains that the ride isn’t free because he knows that there are things that he is asking her to sacrifice.

There are words that she longs to hear from him that he can't speak.  It’s in this acknowledgement that we realize that this is not the end of a journey but the beginning of one.  He will eventually say these words she needs to hear as he promises that he can provide her freedom.

This part of the song is all about the things that we hope for coming true in ways that we never expect. Life doesn’t always have a sense of urgency because it all seems infinite but it’s not.

We need to trade in our illusions, face the possibilities in our life and take whatever path will make our dreams come true.

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