Monday, August 2, 2010

Knowing


Either commit to keeping a memory or kill it; don’t pack it up with the caustics and plead involuntary manslaughter.

R was a good man, and no doubt, still is. This one was all my fault -- if fault even applies, as that implies intention, some working knowledge of what I was up to at the time.

Another example of the one-offity of life's lessons. Oh sure, you can learn some things like driving a car or whistling that will come in handy over and over again, but understanding what went wrong with an individual you loved, when it's highly unlikely you'll meet such an individual again, well -- so you know, now you just know, and that's all.

Maybe next time you take things slower or step with greater care. Maybe next time you don’t rush through to the end, tripping over furniture and spilling all the champagne because you’re too excited to wait. If you’re lucky, it never is too exciting to wait ever again, because that kind of crazy should happen just once; unless you really are crazy, and then it probably happens all the time.

Others will follow – the appropriate and inappropriate, likely and unlikely. The fantastic likes to just drop by, but rarely answers invitations. It comes when you’re not looking and leaves when you are.

But, to my knowledge, there’s nothing to be done about that.


(Song heard on NPR yesterday. Like it?)

29 comments:

  1. Oh, that one hurt. All too painfully familiar. Beautifully said though.

    Listening to the song now. I like it! Thanks for posting.

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  2. I know that one.

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  3. A lovely song, and your thoughts ache in my heart.
    But certainly memories have to be peeked in on occasionally? Even if you know you won't slam the memory's door fast enough - you still want to be able to check on it. Don't commit to it, starve it for all it cares. But it is still yours to peek in on.

    Involuntary vs. intentional... aren't they always foreseen by someone?

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  4. So right, Brenda. I took the Clorox bottle off the photo, and why the photo was under the sink, I can't say. Waiting for me to peek, I guess.

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  5. The Hiker is creating driveway moments.

    I liked the lyrics but not the music: love is complicated. If that's you in the photo, whoever the echo is surely wanted to be there.

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  6. I wish I could write about it.

    Thanks for not making me feel more crazy than I am.

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  7. That pretty much nails it, Hiker.

    I've been a fan of John Gorka for many years, and have seen him several times. He's a brilliant songwriter, with a really soothing voice that doesn't show so much in this recording. He performed at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena earlier this year.

    Another song of his, Furniture, especially the last verse, may actually be more in keeping with your post:

    FURNITURE by John Gorka


    What good am I if I leave you lonely
    What good am I if I'm lonely too
    What good is a one and only
    If that one and only's leaving you
    Am I losing you
    Am I losing you
    I know you're lonely too

    I walk through the land of sweet temptation
    Where the women come up from underneath
    What they offer's sweet as candy
    But what they offer's no relief
    It's really no relief, over or underneath
    Yeah I want to keep my teeth

    I live in rooms where I'm a stranger
    Young women here now call me sir
    My friends are other lone arrangers
    But you won't find us where we were
    Oh no not where we were, that's just a fading blur
    Oh yeah they call me sir

    True love is a welcome struggle
    The only one that's worth its salt
    I want to say I caused that trouble
    I want to say it was my fault
    I want to say it was my fault

    Whatever caused this bad direction
    This attitude where darkness thrives
    Is it loneliness retained in sections
    Or from undetected sharpened knives
    Oh the sharpened knives from other people's lives
    Is that why the darkness thrives?

    A friend of mine he taped the ocean
    So I could listen to the sea
    When locked inside this loud commotion
    Locked in the land of the free
    In the land of the free, it was a gift for me
    The sound of the rolling sea

    Hope comes from the smallest places
    From little rooms inside the heart
    The furniture there bears the traces
    Of every unsuccessful start
    Unsuccessful start, it's like a work of art
    The bottom of the heart

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  9. Maybe you and I are in a similar place right now. Maybe not , but I thank you for understanding. We have to stick together Sistah!
    xx
    v

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  10. Paula, yes, that's me in fore and R in aft. Virg, we'll stick together always, but this was from the past.

    Ok Paula, MG, & Earl, maybe you'd like a more bare-boned, rawer version. I didn't link to this because then she goes into another tune not her own. But she did write this one, and I love the way she does it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyKLYHLGQSA

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  11. OK, so Lucy wrote that, and yes, the version of her singing it is much more powerful. Wow!

    As you might have guessed, I've seen Lucy many times too. She often backs up John with harmonies when they are at the same location. Lucy has a haunting voice. John has a very soothing voice.

    Back in 1994, I accidentally discovered the "New Folk" movement when I saw Susan Werner at a club in Nashville. John and Lucy are a big part of that "movement." Lucy, Dar Williams, and Richard Shindell did an amazing CD called Cry, Cry, Cry of sad songs that I recommend if you can find it. Remember that song "Cold Missouri Waters" about the fire in Montana back in 1949 that I posted last year during the fires? It was from that CD.

    Lucy is actually a therapist who discovered that singing and songwriting were really her thing. He father, who passed away in recent years, was a math professor at Berkeley and had been a friend of John Nash, the Princeton professor of "A Beatiful Mind."

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  12. Manslaughter is overkill and a little vengeance never hurt anyone. Music connects the dots

    btw: I think I like the photo because of the caustic spots

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  13. Thanks so much for that link, love it.

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  14. Ah, heartbreak. Go ahead. Commit to the memory. It's not like you can ever really lose it and still be human.

    "If you’re lucky, it never is too exciting to wait ever again, because that kind of crazy should happen just once." "It comes when you’re not looking and leaves when you are."

    Just two spots of brilliance among many.

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  15. I'd find it hard not to trip over the furniture and spill the champagne if I was feeling like that.

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  16. Sometimes I wonder if the conscious mind EVER wins its struggles with the sub- or unconscious.

    So yes to Brenda's points.

    I agree with PA about the caustic spots in the photo--in this case they really create the narrative (or central metaphor?) as much as the humans do.

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  17. Oh Banjo, you're just agreeing w/pa because you're such great friends now. Wait 'til you have your first fight.

    Thanks very much, Petrea. And Paula, I just had a feeling you'd connect with that one.

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  18. Hi Karin, Its "that Ken character" paying a visit.
    Love is such a complex thing. Ask 10 people to define Love and you will get 10 different answers. If it is an consolation, I have never seen anyone use the term " one-offity" so purposefully. :) We all go through stormy trials and tidal waves in Life's Ocean and hopefully when the clouds clear we are still left in our little yellow dingy, a bit shaken but safe and willing to paddle towards a new shore.

    peace.

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  19. Hi Karin, Its "that Ken character" paying a visit.
    Love is such a complex thing. Ask 10 people to define Love and you will get 10 different answers. If it is an consolation, I have never seen anyone use the term " one-offity" so purposefully. :) We all go through stormy trials and tidal waves in Life's Ocean and hopefully when the clouds clear we are still left in our little yellow dingy, a bit shaken but safe and willing to paddle towards a new shore.

    peace.

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  20. Ken, you can't say that too many times.

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  21. I read this yesterday. I think I was the first as there were no comments yet. But I couldn't write one single sentence I was so transported back to my own past. Thirty years ago I was at fault for, well I'm still not sure what or how or when I walked down the crooked side of the lane,causing pain--to myself and another. And thirty years later those memories and questions still bubble up from the grave when I least expect it. Even if you try to kill a memory, it doesn't die. It just hides for a little while.

    There aren't any do overs in life are there? But I loved and was loved and what really went wrong still eludes me, though I place the blame at my feet. I didn't "rush to the end." Perhaps I stayed too long. I don't think I'd do a "do over" even if I could.

    Luckily, in the end, the fantastic didn't just drop by. He answered the invitation. He RSVP'd yes.

    Thanks Mr. Earl for the lyrics to Furniture.

    I love Lucy's rendition of the song.

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  22. "I don't care what you say, I just like the way you sound."

    Christina bring me the axe!

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  23. The fantastic likes to drop by when you're not looking...so true, in my experience.

    Sounds like there's more to this story...maybe over a grown-up beverage or two.

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  24. At the risk of being banned forever for excessive commentary, here's another song on the subject:

    ST MARY'S OF REGRET
    Susan Werner

    I'm wearing that dress
    I've pulled on those gloves
    I put on my veil
    We once were in love
    We once had it all
    The entire sky
    We threw it away
    And I wonder why

    Passion's always half impossibility
    But lovers that we lose we never dare forget
    We visit them in mourning in December and in May
    In the graveyard of St Mary's of Regret

    The end of the street
    The wrought-iron gate
    The cobblestone path
    The names and the date
    The anxious hello
    The everyday laugh
    The intimate tears
    The epitaph

    Passion's always half impossibility
    But lovers that we lose we never dare forget
    We visit them in mourning in December and in May
    In the graveyard of St Mary's of Regret

    You're married by now
    She's kind I suppose
    Does she know what she has
    Does she tell you she knows
    Do you put on the suit
    Do you try on the tie
    Do you walk through that gate
    Do you wonder why

    Passion's always half impossibility
    But lovers that we lose we never dare forget
    Maybe someday there I'll see you in December or in May
    In the graveyard of St Mary's of Regret

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  25. Oh I liked that last one, Mr. Earl!

    Karin, beautiful post.

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  26. Now that I picked away at that scab, I do have one more post on the subject, and it has a very strange ending, if I can do it justice.

    Bayside and Carolynn, I'd love to share a glass of dry rose with the two of you and chat. Perhaps that will happen someday.

    Earl, you're always appropriate.

    MG, you made me guffaw. I never knew what that actually sounded like before. It requires tissues.
    Lori, thank you.

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