Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The power of reggae music

It was 1987...
I was in the passenger seat in my girlfriend's car as she and I were having the "breakup" talk.
I remember this lonnnnnggggg....silence in the car after everything was said and done.
I started to fidget in the seat as I put my hand behind my seat and felt a tape...It had a dreadlocked man on it with the title "Legend". My "ex-girlfriend" said... "Thats a tape my mom got when they went to Jamaica; she doesn't listen to it and I don't really like it so you can have it." And she smiled at me like... "at least you got a free tape out of this mess..."
She couldn't even remember his name. It was Bob Marley. The tape was called Legend:The best of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
So, as it so often happens, I was listening to dark music in those days The Bauhaus, Joy Division,Sisters of Mercy...on and on. I was also working outside in the sun all day as a life-guard. So the tape got lots of play at the pool... it just seemed like summer pool music. And the Moms that brought their kids to the pool liked it a whole bunch more than the angst crap we were listening to.
At first the music didn't really hook me. I liked "Stir it up" because of the bass-line but that was about it. I went back to college when the summer was over and realized that I had stumbled on the party tape of my roommates. That made me feel a little connection with them even tho' I never felt like part of their crew...at least we had Bob Marley.
An event happened that summer that I did not count on... I fell in love with a girl who had no idea that I loved her. And while I was gone(500 miles away) I thought about her every day.
Thats when I discovered another song on the tape. "Waiting in vain" hit me like a ton of bricks...
It was as if Bob took the words out of my mouth and wrote the song. The yearning, the ache, the fact that in reality I would have waited as long as it took even if it made me a fool. I realized that I was in love with the wait... just like Bob. To this day I can hear that song and still feel all those feelings once again. That was the hook that was needed. From then on I was a reggae student. I am amazed at reggae's healing power, it's soul, it's subversive spirit, it's ability to connect all kinds people together. I went on in the next year to get my hands on 5 more reggae tapes... we'll talk about those another day. As for the girl I fell in love with, well thats another story too.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Return

Friday night as I lay in bed I thought for sure the storm that blew in was going to bring the house down... I could'nt sleep so I sat on the back porch and watched the electrical display in the sky. The rain smelled good; like a cool forest shower. The wind sang thru the trees as the new leaves played percussion with the branches. I forgot about the house being in danger and just listened...
I love Texas thunderstorms...
Cleans the dirt off of these dusty streets,
Brings the city back to life for another season.

At the edge of the world I sit
Here in the waning darkness
With my crows-feet and tired limbs.
Aurora wakes from her sleeping
Stretching golden arms across
The forest of space and stars.
The spider sees the sky as a mirror
The dark soul now has a soft morning glow.

I have seen the evening
Dressed in her royal gown
Glittering as she passes over me.
The moon drifting through me,
The wind carries with its wings
The sweet smell of my mother like
Church bells float from the distance.

One morning
Stepping barefoot from my web and the clouds
Eyes bloodshot, darting to and fro',
Too busy to notice...
It was the beginning of the return.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

my little corner in the house

Came home from work today, paid the rent, fed the family, listened to some miles davis, and nestled into a dark corner for the rest of the night.