Thursday, October 4, 2007

The I in I-5

I remember my mother’s face reflected in the mirror through the crack in the door of the steamy yellow tiled bathroom on Fulton Avenue. I must have been about Leo’s age. Tears streamed down her cheeks. A new lavender scented lotion had triggered a memory from childhood of being somewhere in the country in the middle of a field of the stuff. I pictured her in long pigtails and a white middy blouse. A sweet memory of a mother who seldom recounted sweet memories.

Recently I purchased at the Body Shop a peach scented lotion and the aroma shook me back to the early seventies and indian bedspreads and boys with long hair and pretty faces and I was washed with the sweetness of yearning and reminded, that for all my loneliness there was beautiful music and hippy fragrances and some dear friends and I was just discovering food and learning to cook it and reading good novels and going to revival houses. There were jeans that didn’t fit and boys who didn’t call, my narcissistic mercurial mother and other sad sorrows. But the weird, near saccharine scent of the lotion reminded me to grant this time justice in my memory.

I took a car trip by myself this week and listened to music, trying, without much luck, to find some younger talent with an authentic voice and also listening to some talent that was younger when I was younger and I sadly found much of it inauthentic and thin as well. I know there are others out there but the two albums that come to mind, from that era, as always feeling fresh are Astral Weeks and Moondance by Van Morrison and alas, I realized on the road this week that the best of Jackson Browne just wasn’t all that good. I am scheduling Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan Neil Young and selected Paul Simon for the jubilee acid test smackdown. Stay tuned.
I visited a little mission I love in San Miguel but the lovely chapel was closed so I prayed in the car and a voice described the Grapevine as I drove through it at magic hour and then it faded away. Voices and songs and scents fade away and drift off and sometimes it makes me weep that I cannot hold them in my hand but only trust to God that these comforts will drift back some day and wrap me warm.

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