Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Revelation Big Sur

"and through the rhythm of the timeless season...."
-Mark Kozelek

My favorite flower is in bloom, the daffodil. Their yellow heads are leaning over the monkeygrass in my front lawn, a tired but bright morning greeting as I head out to my car.

When I was a child, my father would take me to a place, just outside Bluff City, called Sonneman's Cabin. It was a getaway for an attorney from my father's practice, two generations before his time. In my tiny blond head, it was like a dream. The two room structure was set in a field of green and yellow, daffodils as far as the eye could see. I would run off into the woods and come back, small fragile arms overflowing with butter colored blossoms and bluebells. We drove back there every year, to take pictures, just to catch a glimpse of this lovely vision of spring.

When I was old enough to drive, through high school, college, and ever after, I would find myself traveling the winding back road to the cabin, after school, on the weekends, late at night. The clear moonlit sky would cast an eerie glow on those golden heads, wavering in the night air. I'd sit in my car and listen to Mark Kozelek, America, Glen Phillips, weaving together ghost stories through each turn of the guitar, brought from the dark corners of the barn across the way, midnight tales of love and death and eternal longing. I never asked my father of Sonneman. I never was told a truth about this small place. I was afraid of it, that my father's plain sense would knock my sensibilities off of the face of the landscape. "He just had a green thumb," would be his answer. And all of those stories I had written, all of those songs in my head of devoted tribute to a lost love and glorifying the paths that she once walked would wither into such a short sentence.

It's been five years since last I drove down that road. 500 miles away, I can still see it, clear and quiet. Maybe I'll ask a friend from home to search it out, as soon as the Midwest winter thaws. Darren, I know how you love driving those back roads. Are you up for the task?

It's a rainy day here in Birmingham. A dark day. The cars are flying by on the overpass by my window, their headlights a waterfall of light.

Mister Murray Lightburn: I still don't love you. I gave you another chance on the drive in to work this morning. My heart never turned your direction. It stayed curving through traffic, from lane to lane, and then on into the morning.

Maybe someday.

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