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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Is That Compassion in His Voice?

The road ahead of us stretches west across Iowa toward Nebraska. We have several hours to drive, but the sky is bright and blue and the traffic is light. If we’re not exactly enjoying the drive (because, really, it’s pretty flat and rather dull) then we are, at least, enjoying each other’s company, our conversation, and some great music.

The boy and I are listening to Radiohead on the truck’s stereo system. For a fourteen year old, he’s got pretty good taste in music. It’s Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer, from 1997. I was 22 when it was released; he wouldn’t be born for another four years. I’ve caught him several times, in recent weeks, sitting at the keyboard, plucking out the melodies to Karma Police, and No Surprises. He’s got a good ear.

He thumbs through the CD booklet, reading the lyrics. I sing along.  It is a good day; the miles fly by.

“They have a lot of songs about leaving, and loneliness,” he says as OK Computer ends and we’re loading Kid A into the CD player.

“Yeah,” I say. “They do.  Alienation and withdrawal are big themes in their music.”

“And they’re your favorite band?” he asks, lightly. 

Is that compassion in his voice?  Understanding?

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Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
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