I’m thinking about the puppetmaster-like sway the mixture of a melody, a voice, and the lyrics have over a person’s memory. It’s like being strapped into a roller coaster and hearing the words, “Ready or not, here you go.”
A song transported me to 2012 when I lived out of an ’84 Westfalia camper van. I’d gotten into a show-and-tell with a guy at a rest area who’d hand-built a teardrop camper from scratch. It was barely road-legal—his antics, run-ins with cops, traffic tickets, and gigging as a musician from Oregon to New York and back again should be a movie.
As a parting gift, he’d given me his CD.
It wasn’t until two and six years later that I would see him again. Both times I was in the audience at his shows.
His CD went on to stay in the player on repeat for months as I traveled. And at that time, I needed him. Well, maybe not him as much as the poetry he created.
“I ran east till it turned into the west. I walked the gravel to the sea. But I found nothing that could look back at me. And I’m as empty as the day I left. I had to run the whole world around. Before I drowned in what I never found.”
Like a bum leg that needs extra care, revisiting that time in my life still aches. But doing so with the help of Jeffrey Martin provides a salve – nurturing, and protective. So for that, I’m grateful.