03 November 2011

Midnight in Harlem

We don't feel alive when we are not passionate about something. Sometimes passion is a firecracker. Other times it's something we carry with us for life. Sometimes it feels like it's a thin thread that holds fast our resolve. Whether it's a grand cause, or the self-centered resolve to be happy and to be loved. Whatever the end state is, the journey is rarely easy and it's rarely over.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep.
We may not get there in one year or even one term.

~ President-Elect Barack Obama, election eve speech 2008, Grant Park, Chicago.
I am buoyed by the notion that our future unfolds like the stylus picks up the phonograph of our lives. I know empirically that the flip-side of despair is hope.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band rendition of Midnight in Harlem is beautifully poetic. If not the character and strength of Susan's voice delivering hope from despair, it's Derek's plaintive licks on slide guitar.

I have been thinking about the lyrics in this tune. There is much to resonate to. As vocalist and lyricist Mike Mattison writes in the refrain:
Spend your whole life trying
Ride that train, free your heart
It's midnight up in Harlem
Midnight in Harlem
lyrics by Mike Mattison

Well, I came to the city
I was running from the past
My heart was bleeding
And it hurt my bones to laugh
Stayed in the city
No exception to the rule
He was born to love me
I was raised to be his fool

Walk that line, torn apart
Spend your whole life trying
Ride that train, free your heart
It's midnight up in Harlem

I went down to the river
And I took a look around
There were old man's shoes
There were needles on the ground
No more mysteries, baby
No more secrets, no more clues
The stars are out there
You can almost see the moon
The streets are windy
And the subway's closing down
Gonna carry this dream
To the other side of town
My daughter and I both love this tune. She is in Colorado studying for an exam to identify the pickled parts of cadavers.

If she was here, I would ask here what this song means to her. I would listen carefully. Then, if she wondered what I thought, I would tell her
The stars are out there. I can almost see the moon.
And I would tell her that I love her 8-sideways because 8-sideways is how we think of infinity.

1 comment:

  1. Gave me a good cry too doodey.
    Amazing blog post, my favorite.
    I'm trying to carry my dream to the other side of town. But can't wait to come back.
    <3 you 8-sideways.


Thank you for commenting.