Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Certain Kind Of Light

Turn this up as loud as you can, and bask in the feeling of being alive and able to hear things like it. Vincent and I have agreed it's our song of the month, and have been listening to it five times for every other song since discovering it on I Love You, Phillip Morris - another reason that movie is ace.

I am back, and although I agree with Sallie in my holiday book Dear Enemy by Jean Webster,

The awful thing about a vacation is that the moment it begins 
your happiness is already clouded by its approaching end.

I am getting better and better at re-living my memories so that the end of things doesn't sting quite so much. (Having said that, the memory of the girls singing So Long, Farewell as Vincent and I backed out of the driveway still makes me want to cry, freeze time, and build a compound on which we all could live.) As much as I love my hometown, Ahipara is like a rest for my soul; there's something reviving about it, even though I seem to spend as much time napping as awake, and peace-keeping between seven-year-olds is as far from restful as a holiday can get. It was a holiday I'll remember and refer to as long as I have a memory: Price saying "This is the life" while we sat around the bonfire, the auto-biographical song I overheard Lizy singing on the beach at dusk after the abandoned scavenger hunt, the babies wandering around the yard bare-bottomed, and having lots and lots of family around me all the time. When I was little, I loved having people to stay; I thought the ideal number sleeping in a house was one to each room (making couples and children top & tailing necessary, since I counted non-bedrooms). It made me feel safe, and it just made me happy. Now that I'm old enough to be driven crazy by them, that feeling hasn't changed. 

It's said that a change is as good as a holiday, but I hate change (blame it on being a fixed fire-sign). Holidays are all I have. I look forward to them, so much that I get nervous about them, and I have to struggle not to panic about how fast they're going by. I never want to be someone who misses the moment because they're trying to capture it, but photos are essential to me. In fact, I think they help me to get the moment because I don't have to worry about remembering the visual; I can concentrate on how I feel. Anyway, my hands are back to the wheel. I'm determined not to sink into post-holiday depression; I have several more to look forward to before summer's end, I'm back in my beloved bed, and the trip home yesterday yielded some very good finds (including some $4.50 Yves Saint Laurent men's trousers from the Kaitaia dump; please ask me where I got them when you see me so I get to say it aloud). And, even while I get sniffly at the memory of the munchkins being von Trapps, it is very nice not to have to share Vincent with them; he is mine, all mine! again. One child is quite enough for him to entertain.

Before you go, you have to listen to this live version of the song. It's long, but it's worth it; unlike the upbeat, immediately life-affirming sound of the former, this is a journey. I talked to Vincent about it, and I really don't know if anyone could sing this better than a woman (and especially a woman of colour). So much of her life is restricted - there's so much out of reach - that she conveys something like this in a way no-one else can; she knows what it's like to not have what she wants - what it feels like to love someone, really love someone, whether or not they need her.

And doing the last verse again, just for herself? I love her. I LOVE her.

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