Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Living Large

I awoke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain’t it funny how the night moves
When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in

"Night Moves" by Bob Seger

I'm sure it has a lot to do with my father's passing, but it seems that everything this year seems a little more precious, not unlike the way the taste of food livens after one ends thirty years of smoking.

Last night was one of those sensations―a hot, sultry July night with storms all around but magically never here. Windows open, I drove home after golf league, replete with the lingering, juicy goodness of a Philly cheese steak sandwich and a couple of tall Sam Adams's. I had the Cubs game on low, just loud enough to catch the occasional excitations, but not so loud that I couldn't drift away and the voice might have been any of the classics soft-crackling across the prairie from "the day"; Bob Elston doin' the Sox, Brickhouse and the Cubs, or the incomparable Harry Carey―before the alcohol took its toll―comin' in from St. Louis. Had the Cubs game been out of hand I might have turned, as I often do, to the Brewers and Bob Uecker, sadly though a Pavarotti singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

Flying up Rte.12 with the warm, protoplasmic rush of 99% humidity flowing across my face I did find myself remembering the old days, those Mellencamp days of Tastee Freezes and wiping the steam from the inside of an old Chevy's window to see if it was a sheriff's deputy bangin' on it or some buddy gettin' in the way of a good thing. It wasn't simple nostalgia I felt, though. Quite the opposite of time passing, the feeling was one of timelessness.

And enormity. On these nights everything is about the vastness of the prairie sky. The heat and humidity and wind and the energy of the lightning are an organism that one is contained within. I am at one with my corner of the universe on such nights, and realize that it has always been so.

And I know that these nights have been around for a long, long time and that I am part of them.

And that's good enough for me.


At 7:31 PM, Blogger Bullock said...

Went searchin' for a rainbow in the fall of '71, midwest 90-90 summers all played out.Driving west, you slowly,imperceptively climb up, up till you can see the Rockies and the illogically named Continental Divide in the distance.It wasn't so much the mountains that wow you, it is the space.The Colorado Plateau covers several thousand square miles and when a lightning thunderstorm passes thru its space and sends out its warning lights and sounds, this awesome show goes from horizon to horizon.
This awe continues with most big spaces;oceans, mountain ranges,prairies-whatever your mind perceives as wilderness.We need that. We need that to stay pristine and uncluttered and undeveloped so our kids can look on it the same way.So people can free their minds, tap into that consciousness and feel peace. That may be what I feel most-at peace.
A tasty freeze may go out of business but a mountain or a forest may not, should not, be bespoiled.

Coda:you could just not beat summers in nothern Arizona; air conditioned at 7000 feet, highs of 75-80 days, lows of 50-55 at night, some of the cleanest air and water in America at the time. Your choice of maybe 3-4 good bar bands to hear and dance to till closing time. And, then cool off in the night air with blue-bright stars.Then,more than once, it was up to the canyon (the big one) to see the sunrise.

That was plenty good enough for me for a long time.
Now, it is indelible.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger sequoit said...

As I write JD, the fiancee, and a dog named Blue are pushing a Penske north long 'bout Mayberry, headin' for the West Virginny pike, Charleston and points way west.

We were talking about that very rearing up of the Rockies, which for them will herald the beginning of a new life in Colorado, as he starts law school at Denver U. and she hunts down a new job.

" stars", I like that.


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