Friday Singalong: Free Fallin'

In 2006, I spent the summer doing my Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as part of my preparation for ordination to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church. CPE was intense. And the hours were very rigid. My older son had just turned 16, and we were going to need him to drive himself and his younger brother to their various summer activities. So I handed over the keys to the minivan and acquired a yellow VW Beetle with a sunroof, which I drove every day to and from the hospital.

CPE was intense. (I know I already said that. It bears repeating.) Often, my work was to make space to hold others in their grief. I tried not to take it on, but at the end of the day my "container" of emotion was full.

I had a CD of Tom Petty's greatest hits, and I'd put it in, find "Free Fallin'" and put the song on infinite loop. I'd roll down my windows, open my sunroof, and drive home in the summer heat, singing at the top of my lungs, just letting everything go, all the angst, the grief, the confusion, the doubts and fears about my abilities (including the ability to hang onto myself in intense emotional situations). I let it all fly out of the windows.

Eventually I added "Learning to Fly" to the mix, as it seemed appropriate, but still, it was "Free Fallin'" that got me through CPE.

I'm sad about Tom Petty's death. But I'm so glad that someone recorded his "Free Fallin' Singalong" during his last live show at the Hollywood Bowl a week before he died. So enjoy. And sing along!