(also published on Scary Mommy: Club Mid)
What do they say about the road to hell? About those good intentions…I’ve thought of writing this letter for no less than about 10 years. It’s high time I pulled this out of the folds of my brain and into reality.
You see, this really is a thank you note 25 years in the making. Let me explain.
I started listening to the Indigo Girls when I was a teenager. I’d listen on the way to cross country meets, bouncing along on brown vinyl seats through the backroads of Pennsylvania. Or on the way back, tired, covered in mud or sweat. I listened to tapes on my walkman with the buttons that sounded like “KA THUNK” when I pushed on them or rewound a sound I loved. I heard Emily and Amy sing about fake friendships. I’d had a few of those. They told me it was okay. That I would get thought it and find real ones. I believed them. They sang about using their hands, love’s recovery, about the Southland in the Spring time, and Pushing the Needle too Far.
I heard their voices singing about what is true and beautiful– nature, friendship, honesty, bravery. Now this was the 80s and early 90s and not many women were singing about those topics. It was all Cold Hearted Snake, and I Think We’re Alone now, and Don’t You Want Me. It was confusing. Be beautiful, be vulnerable, but don’t speak up. Not many women were singing like the Indigo Girls: soaring harmonies, real and true lyrics, passionate, articulate, inspiring.