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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rainy days, Mondays and George

Recently I heard a piece on NPR about Karen Carpenter, and what struck me was not the sad story of her all too brief life, but the impact of her rich, warm-as-cocoa-on-a-cold-night voice, singing to me out of the past.  There are blessed moments like that, transporting us to an instant in time when our hearts were forever touched by something as simple as a song on the radio or an image on a television screen. 

I'm old enough now to appreciate the value of those moments.  Any flashback of another time and place likely includes those who shared it with me, or the comforting solitude of a familiar place I will likely never be again.  Oddly, the sweetness of these memories far outweighs any sadness.  Oh, I may tear up for a moment or two, but the tears are welcome evidence of just how much I treasure the reminder.

Today is not only a rainy Monday, but it is George Harrison's birthday.  Now, without going into too
much sappy detail, let it suffice to say that more years ago than I care to count, I fell in love for the first time with the dark eyes and crooked smile of a young man from a world away, and frankly, I never fell out of love.  Something (not meaning to quote the song) in what I saw on a black and white television screen stirred more than just idol worship, but a deep, abiding bond I'm not ashamed to admit exists to this day. 

I won't attempt to explain it.  I'm certain I'm not the only one to have experienced this kind of thing.  While I never got closer to him in reality than one memorable concert in 1974, I've had a rich relationship with George all through the years.  I recall with painful clarity the day I saw the announcement of his first marriage in the newspaper.  I even remember my mother's sympathetic support of my devastation at the news. I also recall too vividly the morning my radio came on to wake me with the news of his death.  In between, I seemed destined to come upon him at odd moments, to find his voice in my ears when I needed a friendly presence.  Whether in the car, on an elevator, or walking through a mall, it often felt as though he appeared at just the time I most needed him.  Silly?  Maybe, but I can testify to how each isolated incident warmed my heart and soothed my soul.  That's just what George did for me.

Today, George Harrison would be celebrating seventy years of life well-lived.  One night last week, a Facebook friend shared the link to a U-tube video of the Traveling Wilburys performing "End of the Line."  As I commented to her, it gave me a "moment" in an otherwise momentless night.  More than just the pleasure of seeing his famous smile and hearing his voice, I was struck anew by the message in those lyrics.  Everything about that song pays tribute to the philosophy George held dear, the gentle, do no harm but remain true to yourself kind of life he's been repeatedly memorialized for.  For a few minutes, on a cold, quiet night in Kansas of all places, George walked in with his slow-rocking anthem to once again warm and soothe.

Thanks, George, and happy birthday!

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