Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanks, Tom

Take 1
Jackson, my son with an absolute replica of my logical/spelling bee/orderly brain, has surprised me recently by writing song lyrics.  He sings them, and I've heard the younger two walking around singing them as well.  They're catchy.  I'd venture to say they're good, maybe even great if you take into account the fact that he's only eight years old.  He's hesitant to attach himself to being a musician, but I told him that the only difference between a song and a poem is that one is set to music (although I'm neither a musician nor a poet, so what do I know?).

I saw him write a couple of lines today; he said he came up with them as he took out the trash.  I can't divulge the lines here because they may or may not be written in a letter to his Nana and Papa that will be mailed tomorrow--but they reminded me of the lovely, heartbreaking Tom Waits song, San Diego Serenade.

I never saw the morning til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine until you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

I never saw the white line til I was leaving you behind
I never knew I needed you until I was caught up in a bind
And I never spoke I love you til I cursed you in vain
I never felt my heartstrings until I nearly went insane

I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
I never saw the moonlight til it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal, tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears til they rolled down your face

Just before bedtime, my two oldest boys and I sat in silence, listening, as I played the song for them.  I love that they're at an age where I can share things, and they can appreciate things, that are meaningful to me.

Take 2
I'm quick to move on after holidays--the day after Christmas, I'm itchin' to get the ornaments nestled into their nicely divided Tupperware bins, the lights neatly wound (although they have an uncanny ability to tie themselves in complicated sailor knots by the time the next year rolls around), and the tree out by the dumpster where the city picks it up to turn into mulch for spring gardens.  I'll find rogue pine needles hiding out under the couch and in doorway crevices until long after the tulips have bloomed, but still, it feels good to move on.

Likewise, and especially in anticipation of the snowstorm headed our way tonight, I packed away the life-size skeleton, tombstone, and other Halloween goodies that helped make our house 'definitely waaaaay spookier than any other house on the street', as Alex declared every time we pulled into the driveway over the last couple of weeks.

I also removed the plants that brought so much beauty and life to our front porch since warmth was the norm, and the vines of morning glories that had fiercely wound their way up our railing.  They had done their work, bursting open their violet blooms for us to enjoy as each summer day began, and now it was time to rest.

As I carted the load out by wheelbarrow to the alley dumpster on this evening before a snowstorm, before my friend Meghan's service tomorrow, a lump rose in my throat.  Seasons change, loved ones leave us, and we must move on.

I think Tom Waits will be the soundtrack for my evening.


  1. Annie, after reading a few of your blog posts, I believe you are an author, poet, and artist. My guess is others feel the same as I. Your son my be following in your footsteps which is often the case. I’m sure you appreciate him. Give him loads of encouragement and freedom and you will be amazed as his talents develop. This is a major delight of being a Mom.
    I see another snow storm hit southern Colorado. You may have your fill of winter before you leave for Australia and summer 2011-12 in the southern hemisphere.
    Loved the Tom Waits song!
    I’m ready for vicarious travel as you leave for the land down under.

  2. Thanks, Rich. Yes, I've been waffling back and forth with the weather because I truly do think Denver has the best weather in the country, and I'm one of those people whose life is definitely made better or worse by weather conditions. Snow is nice and all, but as I opened the door this morning I thought to myself that heading to Australia mid-summer didn't seem to be half-bad. :)