Monday, October 4, 2010

To My Bobby McGee

[First, let's get 'business' out of the way. If you're clicking over from Patti's How Much Did I Write? Blogfest, here's a quick report: I clocked a couple thousand words and maybe three hours' time on my wip. But I spent the entire week and weekend doing invaluable research, so I consider myself and my week a success.] Now. For 'Bobby':

Today fall surpassed spring as my favorite season of the year.

North Georgia is touched. Its flowing green sentinels line a landscape licked red and yellow. Dogwood, first to bloom in the spring is also first to blush. Lemon poplars mirror fields of butterscotch goldenrod. Sweet gums leak liquid amber.

Applesauce clouds scud across the cornflower blue horizon. I snap pictures while I drive, hoping to capture my little brother's eyes. If you knew Jon, you know this color. I call it Jon's-eye blue.

Flags billow above browning fields and willows dance and sway. The north wind whips the leaves ashiver. Creation waves.

A cycle is complete. After 35 years, I'm home.

Last night, seeing thirtysomething of my high school classmates, I breathed a sigh of relief. Every one of them, half my graduating class, looked exactly the same. Class of '75, you guys look mah-velous!

We danced. We talked. We hugged. We laughed. We cried. And we danced some more.

Nothing had changed. Yet everything has.

We're older, wiser, kinder. Less quick to judge and faster to accept our differences.

When dancing, the songs seem infinitely longer.

I'd be lying by omission if I didn't tell you that it was the most fun I've had in years. And while I was busy having fun? A wound that I wasn't aware of having began to heal.

For traveling the farthest, I won a prize. I chose Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits CD. Then we bid adieu with a promise to meet again.

It took ten months to reach this crossroad. This fall.

As I headed toward home, Janis belted the blues. She immortalized the lyrics of Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson. Some say they were written about her.

In college I wrote a landmark essay (for me). The topic? Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Until today I could only guess the true meaning of these words, this song. At the tender age of nineteen, I had no clue.

Today, with the windows down and Janis's voice ringing in my ears, I got it. Today, I understood.

Calvin*, this song is for you.

*Calvin B. Streets is a master bluesman: writer, composer, lyricist, performer, producer, guitar string virtuoso.

To hear snippets and download tunes from Calvin's CD "He Ain't Done With Me Yet" click here. To see and hear Calvin performing "She's My Baby", an original off his upcoming CD "Ragalicious", click here.


Anonymous said...

sounds like a great time!

Jules said...

OMG! another musical tie. I have so much of her music, it's hard to find people who really appreciate and get her. :D

Glad for the good time, you deserve it :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Misha Gerrick said...

I'm so glad that your reunion went well!


Angela said...

What a great post! I loved how you described the picture you took. So pretty.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Were you inspired recently or what? Your description was great. Thanks for the song...

Edge of Your Seat Romance


Pleased your reunion went well. I love all sorts of music and enjoyed Bobby McGee..

Take care.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

reunions are scary ;) Great yours went so well. Congrats on your writing achievements for the week too :)

The Words Crafter said...

I'm very curious..."I'm home." And the ten month journey to the this about the possible move? It sounds as if you've come to terms with something big....and that you've found a kind of peace....?

I'm glad the reunion went so well and congrats on the CD! My favorite Joplin song is Take Another Little Piece of My Heart.

I especially loved your descriptions: willows swaying and the leaves ashiver-mmmmmm. And-creation waves. I'm in a better mood already.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I'm so very happy that your reunion went well. People go to them with so many different agendas and hopes. For most, high school years are cruel, lonely, misunderstood years. So when coming back, hopefully you come back wiser and more mature.

But old stimuli reactivates old response patterns. I'm glad healing happened in your reunion. Roland

Luna said...

Beautiful post! The way you describe your trip is so poetic. Lovely images! I feel as if I'm venturing down a country road.

Glad you had a great time at your reunion. Great CD choice! Congrats on your writing success, too.

Thanks for the link to Calvin's music. Off to check it out!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love that song :)

Sounds like you had a great time - glad you found lots of peace and joy in the reunion!

Unknown said...

Wow you captured so much here -- poignant :)

Walter Knight said...

Great photo of your class reunion. Wow, is that Garth Brooks on the left?


Unknown said...

You make me feel just a tad wistful for deciding not to attend my 25th reunion later this month on the grounds I think it's over priced. Glad you had a good time.

Ivy Bliss said...

First of all, I have to tell you that NO ONE around me talks when Pam is singing Me and Bobby McGee. NO ONE. Everyone pretty much knows they are liable to get a little smack from me if they do. She sings it for me. (That's what I keep telling myself.)
Second, I love this post, as I love them all. I love that you went back and had fun. I love that you survived the first time and were able to go back the second time.
I just love Janis. I just love Bobby McGee. But most of all, I love you!

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