This is not the song I actually wanted to write about this week. I attended Ani DiFranco's concert in Columbus on Wednesday and was absolutely galvanized by a song I had not heard her play before called "The Atom." The song was an environmental anthem railing against the dangers of nuclear power. That song was an amazing experience - due in large part to the musicians playing with Ani on this tour. Obviously, I wanted to find a video of her playing "The Atom" live and share it on the blog, or even find some recording of it that I could post, but it alas, it was not to be. The song can be found on Ani's "bootleg" live recording of a 2007 show she played in Boston (check her website). In lieu of that song, I leave you with Ani's cover of Phil Ochs' "When I'm Gone," the sentiment of which rings true for me at this moment in my life, as I am beginning to realize more and more and quickly life really goes by (even when you're lucky enough to live for a pretty long time) and how easily it can be clipped too short. To me, this song is not just about activism and the immediacy of the issues of our day and the opportunities we have to really participate in change, but is also about living each moment as if you won't live another. I think this doesn't mean we have to go crazy and work ourselves into the ground, or never take a moment to relax. On the contrary, I think it means that we should do our best to be fully present in each moment of our lives - both the quiet and the active.
I think a lot about what happens when people are gone - what will happen when I'm gone and I want to think that at the end of my life, whenever that may be, I'll be able to look back and be sure that I was part of something and that I did not stand by in ignorance of my connection to each living thing on this planet, living things that are all made up of the same tiny little atoms.