Friday, October 28, 2016

Time is a Flat Circle

Tis the season for remembering every other late autumn that came before. I don't know why, perhaps because it is near my birthday and it is only natural to do when looking forward to a birthday cake. Late autumn is a timeless backdrop of gold trees and wicked winds, a vague hearkening-back to times passed, but it is music that instantly transports me. I was at a restaurant with my son this afternoon, and Band of Horses' "No One's Gonna Love You" piped in just as I was tucking into my squash soup. Wow, I love this song, was my first thought. I love new music. This reminds me of a couple years ago, right around this time... Wait, that was awhile ago. This isn't new anymore.

I did the math. Eight years?

Eight years ago I was working 24/7 on a pet project for my job and making a huge deal about it. It consumed me. I thought I was so important. I was as cocky as the king of spades. I was so wrong. Thank goodness I'm not like that now, and thank goodness I have developed a sense of humor about my transgressions, or else I would have spoiled my soup. Yet I was eight years younger and it didn't cross my mind that I would age and had no idea what maturity meant. I owned my arrogance, and that song, at the time, was my paean to the world. I had yet to come apart at every seam, but just then, I believed I had conquered. I knew.

Fast forward five years, or rewind just three from today. Reformed and restored from my grandiosity, I drove to Ithaca to see Neko Case; a lone pilgrimage to pay homage to the music I've worshiped in sickness and in health. I had humility enough to be grateful for the rubber of my tires that got me there instead. Following that was the birthday I woke up with lice. It didn't bother me. I was just grateful for another birthday.

The song finished out and the next song was from the Buena Vista Social Club; "Chan Chan." What, were they mining my music library? I ripped that soundtrack from my mother years ago. She loved this song. Hi, Mom. So much has changed. I can jump back in time deftly, my memory is agile. Still it is today that gets the most of my attention. The wind will pluck the leaves from the trees and the snow will come and I will remember other first snows and I will pull out the music that I like for snow, and autumn will become the crone once again.

Perhaps three years from now I will be transported back to today and I will remember: "Oh, you were tired that evening, but at least the hot flashes kept you warm."