New Year’s was quiet, but nice. I hadn’t been to Monterey in a long time, and I forgot all the great little shops and touristy things to do there. We found a great Italian place, ducked into a few storefronts, and bought some candy. Then I got to see my folks New Year’s Day. In fact the only downside at all was the wild turkey prints I found on my car. Sometime during the night, a wild turkey(s) managed to climb or fly up onto my trunk and leave a few prints and talon scratches in the paint (where it apparently slid off the edge). Thanks a bunch, Mother Nature.
If you’ll indulge me getting a little philosophical on you for a paragraph, I had a strange period of wonderment when I was driving out for that short New Year’s vacation the other night. (If you want to know why I never got into drugs, read on. Evidently I am stoney enough while sober.) Maybe I was subconsciously in a reflective year-end mood, but as soon as I hit the freeway, I was struck by the crispness of my vision. The sparkling clear details of the other cars and lights all around me. I mean I really noticed a difference, almost as if I truly were under the influence of something. (This part could all just be due to that brand new windshield.) But then an opera singer was discussing on the radio about how all human voice comes from these most fragile of tiny membranes in our throats. And she sang and I thought of how the sound of opera evokes — at least to my tiny, uncultured brain — images of great white halls and gold and sunlight. All the decadent splendor you see in Greek and Roman period pieces. (Corny, I know, but it is what it is.) And then I arrived at my rural destination and saw how bright the stars shone out there. How much more I could see in the sky when I got away from the city for a bit. You’ve all been camping, you know what I mean. All this was swimming around in my head. The gifts of sight, sound, and speech. The blessing that is being a sensitive creature capable of experiencing all of these wonderful things. And I thought of how easily we could lose any or all of it through accident or illness or age. All of our senses and abilities, and our life itself, we are so fortunate to have them. More fleeting than any of us fully realize until it’s too late.
And we are indeed fragile. I am officially getting wrinkles. Well, the beginning of some creases on my face. Another casualty in my life-long war on lotion. Sure, I wash my hands more than Lady Macbeth, and with the brutally cold weather we’ve been having lately, I would expect (and mourn) my hands to age more rapidly. But my precious face? I guess my good looks are fixin’ to get even more rugged, if you can believe it. For better or worse.
And speaking of aging, I ran across this video the other day. Rosie Hamlin of Rosie & The Originals in 2002. “Angel Baby” was a beautiful enough song as it is, but something about seeing an aged and matronly Rosie singing it as sweetly as ever… it lends a whole new dimension and gravity that make it so much better, but somehow somber too. It moves me in a way that I can’t quite articulate.
Looking forward to a new Smiths night in the Haight, TCB shows at the Blank and Popscene, and Wanda Jackson / Jack White… all within the next couple weeks! And further out are Social Distortion in February and OMD in March. Good times ahead… And the crushing quote of the week was yelled out by a friend between songs at a Swamp Angel show we went to. (Swamp Angel is a new suspiciously Deadbolt-like band from an ex-Deadbolt member.)
“Second-scariest band in the world!”