Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Curative Measures....

Music has long played a significant role in my life.  Do not misunderstand.  I know as little about music as I do everything else.  Unless the kazoo has earned classification as an "instrument" I know not how to play a single one of the musical persuasion.  I was such a dreadful piano student as a child (Mom and Dad thought that piano lessons would have a positive effect on my epilepsy but learned after two years of flushing money down that particular black hole that all they did was cause everyone's ears to bleed) that I managed to f*ck up "Chopsticks" at my 3rd grade recital.  No shit.  I screwed the pooch on "Chopsticks".  It is a piece so unchallenging that Captain Hook could play it.  Yet, I could not. 
My absence of aptitude has never quelled my enthusiasm for music.  I would rather listen to music than watch television.  We are preparing to move.  In preparation for the relocation I boxed up the hundreds of CDs and albums I own, many of which have been played to death.  I also boxed up the DVDs we have in the wall unit in the living room, many of which have never had the plastic removed from the box.  I recognize that not everyone is similarly affected by music.  Margaret, by way of example, is not.  I recognize that fact but must confess that I do not understand it.  It is beyond my ability to comprehend how a person with the ability to hear can feel no connection to music.  To each his own I suppose. 
Driving home from the office on Saturday morning I was kept company by an "ACR" (an "Audience Created Recording") of Springsteen's July 31, 2008 concert at Giants Stadium.  Margaret and I were that that night.  It was a show that was delayed by more than an hour due to a catastrophe of some sort on the Turnpike that made getting to Giants Stadium almost impossible.  Springsteen apparently got word of the fact that many of his loyal subjects were indeed playing the role of broken heroes on a last-chance power drive.  Instead of taking the stage at his usual 8:20 - 8:30, he and the E Street Band manned their positions closer to 9:30. 
And while July 2008 was not really all that long ago, listening to this show for the first time in I know not how long reminded me of just how much has changed in the four and one-half-plus years since.  They opened that night with their cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues".   When I heard his voice emanating from the speaker of my car's stereo Saturday morning, exhorting the people in front of the stage to "Light 'em up!", which in 21st century concert-going is a reference to cell phones and not to cigarette lighters, my mind immediately drifted back to that evening.  I envisioned Margaret and I - sitting upstairs in the 300 section - taking in a simply gorgeous mid-summer's night.  And I thought of all that was to come after this opening number and what a simply terrific night of music it was.....
....perhaps I should have thought of all of those things after I was no longer behind the wheel of my car.  The State Trooper who ticketed me for careless driving seemed disinclined to accept "Springsteen" as the stated reason for why I was doing what I was doing when he pulled me over.  I am kidding of course.  I talked my way out of the ticket.  Still I kid.  No Trooper.  No ticket.  I just thought it made for a funny interlude.  Just to be on the safe side though, do not mention this to the Missus, ok? 
Less than five years after seeing that performance, much has changed.  Giants Stadium is gone.  Clarence Clemons is gone as well.  In our little corner of the world, we have suffered too many losses to count since that evening.  The first one occurred just two days later when Margaret's grandmother, Nan, died.  But here in our little corner of the world, many positive changes have come to pass in the time between that night and this morning.  Rob and Suzanne have each set off on their own to make their mark on this world.  Each has found the perfect partner to accompany them on their journey.  Less than five months from today, Suzanne shall be wed.  Nine months to the day thereafter, Rob shall.
Good stuff and bad shit happens to each of us.  It happens every day.  As long as we can find enough good stuff to hold onto and keep us afloat in the sea of bad shit, we have all we need to make it through this day and into the one that is to come. 
Perhaps Professor Cochran was correct and there is indeed no cure for the summertime blues.  It shall be ok - better than ok in fact - as long as we keep searching for and finding our reason to believe....
....because at day's end, summertime is seasonal.  Belief is perpetual.  And hope?  Hope is eternal.

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