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of Christopher Cross and self check-out

Amazing how a song can transport you back in time.

My daughter and I were at the commissary self check-out, the ‘operator’ bleating at me to “re-scan your item and place it on the belt” and suddenly I heard it, a song on the never-ending track of supermarket music…

Sailing takes me away…to where I’ve always heard it could be...

For a split second, I was 11 again, riding in my uncle’s car, windows rolled down to the hot New Mexico summer wind. I closed my eyes as I felt for a brief second the carefreeness of that moment as I dipped my hand up and down outside the car door, savoring the breeze against my skin.


The automatic checkout made an impatient noise at me, and I restarted scanning the groceries. (What is so “automatic” about it if the real-life human cashier has to constantly clear it for me to continue? Just proof that machines won’t ever run the world.)

The funny thing about “Sailing” is that when I heard it, I had never been in a sailboat, much less even seen an ocean yet at that point in my life. So it’s not that I could identify at all with the song; I just loved the music. There was a peacefulness about it that appealed to me. And the sound of it now takes me back to that time in my life, people–many gone, now–and places.

And I wonder..what sounds will bring my children abruptly back to the now? I hope they’re happy ones.

Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see…Believe me.

(“Sailing” by Christopher Cross)


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Hi, I'm Jen!

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