Someday this will all be gone...the blanket of pollen that annually tinges my world a sickly yellow...the green southern spring of the trees against the curtain of gray as another storm sidles its way through. In a bit will come a rain -- heavy, no doubt -- that will pass quickly and wash away the pollen for a few minutes.
There is music playing. There is always music playing in my life. I lament that one day these songs will play for other ears, but mine no longer. I lament that beyond my existence there will still be incredible songs played, incredible words sung, that I shall never be able to accompany with air drums and off-key voice.
Last night my young daughter and I slow-danced to a vocal jazz song. She's no dancer, nor am I, but it's a dance I shall remember ever. She said she wished my fiance' could have seen us, and I told her that some moments aren't meant to be witnessed.
Although I harbored dreams in my youth of leaving Greatness when I depart this world, I shall leave only my lovely daughter, as well as the impressions -- good, bad, perhaps fleeting -- I have made on others. I love and have loved deeply, and some have reciprocated.
I don't fear death. Not yet at least. I suppose a lifetime of spooky films and literature have addressed this in my mind. I have no illusions that pearly gates, winged flights, and bearded men on thrones await me. I do hope there is at least a stereo. Just in case, Honey, juice up the iPod before you plant me. I want to go out rocking.
It is of course no great revelation that the times we live in are too fast-paced and immediate. So many days seem like a constant rush from dawn to dusk…out of bed to closet to car to school to work to store to home…dinnerhomeworkbedrepeat. I feel like I need to slow down…enjoy the pollen, the spring trees, the storms.
Yes, I said enjoy the pollen, which has caused me such grief and medicine money over the years. It’s a part of my life, a yearly constant, a yearly irritant. But if the pollen is causing me to sneez,e, that sneeze tells me I’m very alive – and most likely snotty.
My daughter fears the thunderstorms. I hope this passes. Someday I hope she understands the glory of Dixie storms, the majesty of the clouds, the way the air smells ahead of the rainfall (if you can smell it in spite of the pollen). Her mom and I used to sit on the porch of our newly built house (this was in the days when the street only had a handful of houses, and there weren’t two-story houses blocking out view) and watch the storms trundle forth until the drops tickled our toes and spotted our glasses. Nowadays there are trees and neighbors to block the view, and there are different toes and glasses to feel the tickle of the rain. The storms don’t care about any of that. Sometimes they are ornery and bring tornadoes, but that’s a bit like life, I guess. I’ve never seen a tornado, but they’ve brushed my general location a few times. I don’t mind the occasional brush with mortality they bring, but if it’s all the same to Mama Nature, you tornadoes just have your say over there, please.
Some days I wish I could “drop out”. Not drop-out Thoreau-stylee, because I am too much a city boy to sit in the underbrush and reflect. Plus, there’s pollen.
I’ve tried to get in the habit of telling the people I love that I love them when we part. And I mean it. Some people use it as a salutation like “rock on” or “have a good day” or “enjoy your fries”. For them “I love you” has lost its luster, methinks, and lapsed into habit. I try to avoid overusing the word, because love shouldn’t be a habit.
This all hit me during my slowdance last night, and then again when I dropped my daughter off at school this morning. Though the days may seem long, time is short, and I need more Memories, with capital “M” fully intended. Perhaps I should try to record a Memory per day, not necessarily something intentional or planned, but something that just happened. Like the slowdance.
Back to the music thing: I always have a soundtrack, whether it’s playing on my stereo, computer, ipod, car player, or Mental Jukebox. The Mental Jukebox holds lots more songs than the rest of my equipment, and in general, plays the proper song for the proper occasion. I can’t play a lick of music on any instrument that doesn’t begin with the term “air—“,
Some people leave their taste and desire for new music at the doorstep of “adulthood”. Some people continue to dabble in “what’s hot” (hence...Adele). Some folks have zero interest in expanding their taste or listening to challenging music anymore; they are the ones propping up country pop. But I digress, and I don’t mean to insult. I crave new music…new bands, new songs, new songs by old bands, old songs covered by new bands, new bands sounding like a bunch of old bands in a blender – you get the point. If I go too many weeks (days...hours...) without new music, I get anxious.
Some people are just a special kind of different.
I had to explain bombings and good/bad people and half-staff flags to my daughter this week. While we’ve discussed good/bad people before, the conversation becomes more complex when you have to address bombings and mass murders. It’s hard to have all the answers when you don’t understand for yourself.
As much as I’m starting to feel the aches and pains and creaks of advancing age, I realize that I’m potentially just halfway through my life. I’m game to ride this Ferris wheel as long as my tokens hold out (or until I get down to my last two tokens, because of course the ride takes three to ride).