Open Thank You Letter to the Dixie Chicks

Natalie Maines.

Emily Robison.

Martie Maguire.

Three women I have never met yet who were instrumental in my survival during some dark days in my marriage and life.  Their voices and words from three albums in particular – Wide Open Spaces, Fly, Home – were on constant repeat mode in my iPod with my headphones plastered to my ears for nearly a year or longer back in late 2002 and all of 2003.

IMHO, Marriage is a journey with two people who at the base of their relationship love each other in such a profound way as to commit to share the rest of their lives together.  Sometimes the journey takes the couple to exotic locations where their minds and bodies become like intensely familiar entities who have been connected long before they met in this life.  Other times, the road darkens and couples get separated and lost in a dense jungle of terrifying emotion and doubt.  Mostly, I have discovered, the path is more like a hike up a favorite mountain trail – a bit rocky and steep at points but with long stretches of open terrain where we simply walk together holding hands, and now, leading our family.

It was during one of our trips to what seemed like the deepest part of the Congo where even breathing was difficult that I discovered the Dixie Chicks.  I had not previously listened to them, but heard a song on the radio and knew they understood what I was feeling.  So I bought the CDs in quick succession and played them over and over again alternately weeping, singing at the top of my lungs alone in the car, and dancing with my children in the living room.

It was as if their music was sent to me specifically at that time as an outlet for all of the unexplainable emotions my heart was breaking from.  They let me sing with them even though I had no idea how to join in a harmony or even match their melody.  When I sang with the Dixie Chicks, I was singing pure emotion and it was perfect.

I was reminded of this time in my life when I recently rediscovered my long forgotten, battery impaired iPod.

I was also sent others in this sisterhood who were not abstract voices purchased at the music store, but real women who had been to similar jungles, loved and survived their own harrowing trips and clung to my side, holding me up until I once again believed I could stand on my own.

I am still married and am grateful for it. I love my husband and am so glad we both decided to come out of the jungles together to proceed on our trek through some wondrous countryside that we might have missed had we given up.

I am, also, grateful for all of these women, their voices, and my ability to join them in this life.  I continue to meet more amazing women who share my joys, struggles and general love of the whole spectacular rave.

‘Cuz some days you gotta dance…

4 thoughts on “Open Thank You Letter to the Dixie Chicks

  1. We just returned home from a 1700 mile round trip voyage we made with all four children in our over-packed Odyssey to Sioux Falls, SD for the holiday. Not sure the words I’m writing will be even remotely coherent, but I sat down to clean out my inbox, found the Facebook message from you with the url for your blog, came to bookmark it, and got sucked in. I love the hiking metaphor, and I believe Annie Lennox is my own personal Dixie Chick. Her album Bare saw me through the dark desperation that led up to my separation from Patrick, and then on out of the jungle and through the healing process. In a bizarre stroke of synchronicity, I was just listening to that album last night, laying in our hotel room in Nowhere Kansas, unable to sleep. I hadn’t listened to it for year, so it seems odd that I would visit your blog tonight and read this lovely post! How I love synchronicity.

    Oh! and I am so adding your blog to my blogroll… estå bien?

    • Gracias! Sounds like you had a wonderful-blog-worthy trip! Speaking of synchronicity – The Police and Sting are my own personal life event mile markers – I know where I was, how old, what I was doing, etc for nearly every song. And last year’s concert – totally reminded me how great it is to be a fan of them and life!
      Glad y’all are home safe – will hit your blog, too!

  2. What a wonderful letter. In November 2000, I turned on the VH1 Country channel to a video with three blond women singing something about a cowboy taking someone away. My doorbell rang and I had to answer it. By the time I got back to the television, the video was over and I had no clue who I had just seen in the video. All I knew was that I had just experienced two minutes of three women singing directly to my heart and that this was to be something very significant in my life. I watched that channel for two weeks before the “Cowboy Take Me Away” video came back on and I discovered the Dixie Chicks. Eight years later, I am still as positively affected by them and their music as I have ever been. My love for them and their music is something I can not begin to explain. Their music defies genre. All I know is that my life has been changed for the positive by these three talented, honest, strong, beautiful women. I am lucky to say that I have met them and been to 21 of their concerts………

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