Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Kenny Rogers Summer-Speed

"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."

-Charles Bukowski

I feel a need. The words have to come and the busy outside world needs to hear my inside thoughts. Even if they die on the doorstep of introspection - they will die in the daylight. Too often I see the silence of good and creative friends as their lives dwindle by. They speak of projects that stay in the shed and barely get breathed on. They talk of should haves and would haves, but the worldstorm rumbles and crashes on, and ruthlessly waits for no one. It breaks hearts and necks, simultaneously.

Soon, seasons blend together and patches of years go by and nothing of consequence happens. Another day rockets by and another sleep closes the eyes of our intentions. Morning cracks and we are instantly rushed. We grow older and move into new stratospheres of age groupings. We calculate our chances. Our days. Our hours. Our seconds.

Our potential.

And yet, in the galaxies of our lost friends and broken relationships, people pay these thoughts no mind. They march onward in bare feet towards the dark, silent woods of the end. They make no booms - they sound no barbaric yawps. They live in their suburbs, and they water their lawns of sober saltless dinners.

The summer is speeding by with an epic Fox comet-tail style; it's a trend that is much talked about in the hot street-steam of the moment but will be long since forgotten upon the slow birth of winter.

Much like our lives.

My life and daily outlook has changed drastically in the past year and a half. I wasn't planning to venture down the road of parenthood when it happened. My gorgeous life partner and I weren't in a mode of hatching and planning and bullet-journalling where and when and how we would conceive a child. But it happened. The pregnancy happened. The birth happened. The hard late December and almost all of Janaury in a hospital happened. And now, she is here - with us. It's hard to picture life before this precious seed of a flowery shrub of a human came into the frame.

A few weeks back, I got to go see Kenny Rogers light up the Jazzfest stage with my dad. Kenny Fucking Rogers. The Gambler. It was a frozen moment in time for me, as my 71 year old dad and my 40 year old self stood watching a gold-voiced, cane-walking man whose vinyl releases warmed the floorboards and walls of our house for eons of time. My dad, who sang a lot in church, would sing Kenny's songs while the records played and he had most of the lyrics down to a T. I wasn't expecting to be as affected as I was, but both of us stood in a sunset Confed Hill park in sheer, buttery enjoyment of a man who still took the time to talk to audience members, tell jokes about Mick Jagger being '102 years old' and 'that damned Dolly Parton', and sarcastically push governmental concert goers to get a bit more animated and loose in their singing and involvement. For a 78 year old, Kenny sure had all of the fixins of a true Southern Gentleman who had novels of stories to tell, and buckets of trial-by-fire wisdom to share, and he can still sing decently - and to hear how his dream of music began by being inspired by the legendary Ray Charles.

The whole night was a reminder - a broken stinger in the skin of time. We are all moving on. The ports of past experience float away in our rearview as we ship off to new and foreboding and exciting destinations.

And it left me feeling hopeful - in the sense that we don't need a ton of time to make a mark. Everyone thinks about building a legacy. A gold watch. A degree. An RRSP. A company. An invention. But even in opening the door of a coffee shop for a sullen stranger, couldn't we make enough difference in that moment to make a ripple in the ponds of love and light?

I want to keep building. I want to keep opening doors. I want to help those around me.

I'm here to listen, and gather, and to walk beside you.

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