...quiet, about a lot of things...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

In the last hour for Sunday Scribbling

This is going to be a quick two parter.

Part I NOW

I'm watching PBS..yep...I'm a PBS junkie. For the last hour I've been watching a salute to James Taylor. I have spent the last hour of my life near tears, so close to memories of my childhood. Maybe James helped me start down the road of loving words...Carol King came to sing "You've got a Friend" with James....and I was 8 years old again. Tapestry and Sweet Baby James were two of my mothers very favorite albums. I see her laying on the floor, next to her 8 track, tear tracks stained on her cheeks. She taught me how to let music carry you away.

I am amazed to see how beautiful Carol King has become. A wild, fully bloomed woman. I watch her and wonder if it is her voice that is so sexy, or her playing the piano, or her living in her skin...hitting and not hitting the high notes,but smiling and loving every note.

I am not much my mothers daughter. But I carry her music in my DNA.


In the last hour, my life changed. I came into this church 16 years old. I am the baby of all my friends. The last to get my period, the last to get my drivers license, the last to give up on hopes and dreams. Today is the day that changes.It all changes. I give up my fairy tale hope of happily ever after. I walk down the aisle. I find a seat next to other shoulders and down cast eyes.

Start the music.

Just Yesterday morning
they let me know you were gone
seems that the plans they made
put an end to you.

I sat down this morning
and I wrote down this song
I just cant remember who to
send it to.

Oh I've seen fire and I 've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
but I always thought I'd see you again.

She made her entrance now. She is not in white but instead in deep mahogany hues. Her casket floats on many sets of strong young arms, 16 year old arms, 18 at the oldest. In ust 6 months, half of them would have been her escorts, as she came out. She was born to be a debutante. She made a grand entrance anyway. James Taylor sings about airplanes in pieces on the ground. Roses cover her in a way that would have embarrassed her. She was a conservative girl. The swell of bloom and emotion was not her style.

She was quiet, almost icy quiet. Beautiful in an unknown way, and gloriously tall and elegant. How we all had envied, yes coveted her lithe body. We all knew she had a problem. Even I knew, and I wasn't a close friend. I had last seen sharing a clove with friends waiting for the bathroom at a party on Oak Knoll Place. She looked like she belonged there. I looked like I did not. But we were both alive. We were both drunk, a young drunk, (back when it was possible to be tipsy, and not bitter.) We both had to pee. I last saw her in the bathroom. We shared the bathroom...four of us, as teenage girls tend to do, and shared a bit of gossip.

All the songs at her funeral had been picked out, by her. To tell the truth,she had really hated the Death and Dying class she took last semester. She thought the idea of planning your own funeral was just ridiculous and more than a bit morbid. All my friend hate the teacher, Miss Hennar, but she is my favorite. I like all her classes. I am always into emoting and digging. I wonder how her parents had found her funeral plan. Had she shown them? Mine is buried in the heap of my room. My mother has no clue of my classes, let alone my assignments. But her funeral is sappy, heartbreaking and 16 year old. I wonder if she is thinking "What a joke...I just made it up 5 minutes before class...now, what a joke."

Sitting in my pew, watching her placed by the altar, my life changed today. I've learned the lesson. We all will die. It will always catch us by surprise. Youth isn't a place to hide from the world any more. Maybe an hour ago, you could have convinced me that all's well that ends well, but now I know better. All, well, all ends. That's it.

Check out more Sunday Scribblings Here
posted by wendy at 10:32 PM


Wow! What can I say? Wow (again). What powerful writing. Great stuff my friend.
Your MOTHER'S favourite albums were Tapestry and Sweet Baby James??? But, but, but ... they were albums I had - and still do by the way - so by the powers of deduction within me, I am old enough to be your mother ??? Holy Gamole! Spose I am! (Ach well, age is irrelevant ..... most of the time anyway.) Love ya babe!

12/4/06, 3:34 AM  

wow wendy! both of these pieces were so beautiful and so powerful. i'm just amazed by your writing. the funeral piece just brought me to my knees...

12/4/06, 2:16 PM  

Both parts of this piece are powerful. I still can't listen to that James Taylor song without getting a lump in my throat. I appreciate his writing so much more now than when I was in my teens.

12/4/06, 3:38 PM  

I, too, love James Taylor. I especially enjoyed your part II. Your writing brings me right there and tells a story on your "voice" can bring to life.

12/4/06, 4:39 PM  

Great posts. Perfect ending.... This story could have been mine, and my friend Pat's, it's so like yours. I wrote about it, at the time...about seeing her eyebrow, her forehead, just above the casket (I couldn't look in). The last words she said: "Now I lay me down to sleep...."

And heck, I could be your grandmother! *gasp*

12/4/06, 8:35 PM  

We were sixteen.

12/4/06, 8:36 PM  

Wow! Your writing resonated for me, especially the second part. It reminded me of the death of one of my classmates at 15. But it also just...spoke. Thanks] you for writing that.

12/4/06, 10:39 PM  

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