Monday, January 02, 2006

The Door is Open but the Ride Ain't Free

Midwinter. Yep, it is here. We’ve had earlier cold than usual this year but nothing so bad, some snow but nothing to count. Today is bleak. Grey. On the hillside across the creek I can see the brown leaves on the ground under the standing sentinals of the tree trunks. Clouds are on the higher mountains, enveloping them. The sound of water in the creeks is back again. No green is to be seen in the grass in the fields although in the unused pasture some hides beneath the brown tops. Even the green of the pines seems tinged with black it is so somber.

But it is all tinged with the sweetness of longing that somehow accompanies the knowing that spring will follow. All of winter has the sweetness of Christmas Eve.

My elder brother sent me the three CD set of Bruce Springsteen Live 75-85. It was from his lips that I first heard the name “Bruce Springsteen”. I was what, 13 or 14 years old? Born to Run was out but not big yet. Somehow my Wilfred-Brimley-stunt-double brother and a cousin had bumbled onto how great Brucey-baby was back then. I was in my room listening to an 8-track of Rod Stewart, some album with Maggie May and the like on it, when brother walked by, came back, asked me if I liked that music. When I said yes, he said, then you’d like Bruce Springsteen. “Bruce what?” And that was the first time I heard that name. After that I went to said brother’s room and stole the album to listen to.

“will you walk with me out on the wire”

Eventually I wore out two copies of it, and I can still hear the skips that I had in those albums.

“maybe we ain’t that young anymore’

His old good songs are like winter, with that sweet longing captured in words and music, the guitars and drums rumbling and crashing like a spring thunderstorm on the horizon that hasn’t arrived yet to wash away the snow and ice, to free the captured angel state of winter.

My wishes for the new year, for me and for you, is may we all have a brave new year. If it doesn’t require some bravery, it isn’t worth much as a year, and if we don’t have some bravery with which to meet it, we aren’t worth much ourselves.

And to all of us, especially Brucey Baby, “LIGHTEN UP! Quit taking yourself so damn seriously.” And as far as writing goes, never tell; describe describe describe.


Joe Tornatore said...

Thunder Road! Love the Boss, Contrary.

the Contrary Goddess said...

I bet you've seen him though!

the Contrary Goddess said...

Husband said no one had commented on this post because no one understood it! Maybe I didn't capture that sweet longing well enough, but Bruce sure used to.

"There's a sadness, hidden in that pretty face, a sadness all her own, from which no man can keep Candy safe"