Have you ever heard a song or album and the weather seemed such an integral part of the experience – so much so, that every time the weather conditions are right you still remember that song or album? Well it’s happened to me. Repeatedly.
Today, it’s “raining cats and dogs” and I spent a fair amount of time on the road looking from some rainy day photo ops. It was raining so hard it was keeping time with Led Zeppelin’s song “Bonzo’s Montreax” (from the CODA album) which was playing in my car. But this is not about that song.
During my drive I realized it was exactly a day like today when I purchased my very first RUSH album, A FAREWELL TO KINGS (on cassette and vinyl). The album was released September 1st, 1977. I was 17 and only had a drivers permit. I was only working on the family farm and had saved my allowance for this purpose. I got to the car and greedily unwrapped the cassette to play in the car. The weather was dark and cloudy not unlike the cover art with the post apocalyptic setting – the landscape crumbled and the crown of the king lying on the ground. The king plopped down on the throne like a puppet whose puppeteer had fled or a jester frozen in time – the joke had been played once to often. I popped the cassette in the player and it started to rain. I took the scenic route home through the countryside past hill and dale, field and farm listening in amazement and feeling transfixed as “Xanadu” blasted from the car speakers. by time “a thousand years had come and gone…” I was completely enthralled, mesmerized in my rainy day drive. I got home during “Cinderella Man” and felt lost in the myth, the poetry and story telling. I continued to just sit in the car and listened thru to Cygnus X-1 (Book One) as the rain continued to beat on the car roof. Wipers off I mused and wondered if Cygnus X-1 would have a Book 2 in this musical adventure. The transformation was complete I was a RUSH fan. For years to come A FAREWELL TO KINGS, HEMISPHERES, PERMANENT WAVES and MOVING PICTURES would be my favorite RUSH albums. I would listen to them frequently.
Well with Todays rain it was time to revisit the memory and the feeling of that first listen. And though I am older I find it still extremely enjoyable and satisfying. It’s just one of those things. 🙂
What is it like to lose one’s memory. I’m not talking about just periodic lapse, simple absent-mindedness or the loss that comes from someone just not being around any more. I’m talking about loss of memory as with alzheimer’s. In my short life existence I’ve noticed that people always want to deal with the “light” and positive things in life while I’ve tended to gravitate toward the darkness in life that people don’t want to deal with or deliberately try to avoid. The two images I’m posting here are my humble attempts to deal with this darkness. To contemplate memories: forgetting and forgotten.
The subject in these photos are quite simply just corn husks that were laying in a mud puddle of the cow lane on the family farm. I took the photos on Christmas day when I was visiting my family. With the recent loss of my father Christmas seemed to be more about memory than ever before. How we remember. Why we remember. How we forget and why we forget and of course, what we forget.
Just because the world grows dark doesn’t mean it has less meaning – only that meaning itself has changed. Blessings on those in the darkness, in the shadows of the day-dwellers.
I’ve been reading SEEDTIME, writings from the notebooks of Swiss poet Phillipe Jaccotet. His writings about the swiss countryside bring back so many memories. Memories of growing up on the farm near Kidron, OH (USA) So here are some thoughts of my own:
Murmured Lowing. Distant cowbells. Waking sparrow.
The light is dark at dawn.
Blue-black sky. Green-black landscape. Summer morning.
Fence post sentinels line the pasture lane.
Early to bed, early to rise. Morning chores beckon. Lids heavy slow response.
The bed is warmest when waking.
My Grandfather used to make trips to Switzerland our ancestral homeland and in 1948 he had a set of cowbells made that covered at least two octaves on the western musical scale. Here is an image of one of our family’s cowbells that I’ve been able to salvage. Not sure what happened to the rest. Bells were cast in Bronze, included the family name (Geiser), date (1948), image of a cow and decorative Edelweiss flowers, the text “Made in Switzerland” and name of the foundry where bell was cast (Barinotto Co. Fonderie La Chaux De Fonds)
And what do cowbells sound like? What sound became so familiar to me during summer?
(fyi – there is a 20 second gap in sound near the beginning).