On Friday, I finally had the chance to see Shawn Mullins live.
It was great to get the chance to see him in person. There is a satisfying moment to hear your favorite songs played live. But one I only get from small concert venues.
A guy named Eddie Elliot opened and I enjoyed him as well.
I spent the early part of this week in Kerrville and Houston. A small trip for work and to take in a small portion of the HOV II Tour ( Susan, Walt, Brandon). The show in Houston was at the Mucky Duck. It’s a great venue for live music. It makes the top of my list of great listening places to see music in Texas. I will get pictures up as soon as I am done renovating the website.
While in Houston, I did try for a few hours to locate my brother but that’s another story. I also took a trip down memory lane and went by the old house. I always feel the need when I am there…just to make sure the place is still where we left it I guess. The house is currently for sale.
My parents built in 1976 for $17,000. Almost 3000 square feet and what was once almost 2 acres of land. I thought about what it might be like to buy it. If Houston wasn’t the armpit of Texas, I might even think about it seriously. It takes days to get the petroleum smell out of my hair and clothes. But the nostalgia of it, to have the house I grew up in again and walk the same hall; flush the same weak toilet; feel the cool brown ceramic tile under my feet; brush my hands over the ridges of spanish stucco and stand under the archways. And, to have the garage apartment with the orange cone wood burning fire place and kitchenette where I used to image I’d live one day when I was older. That apartment is where we lived until the house was finished and where my mother tumbled down the stairs while pregnant with my brother. It has been my running joke for years about what wrong with him. If I weren’t cranky I’d feel whimsical.
Tonight I go to a musical…
There nothing especially brave or exceptional about not saying those words nor is there anything especially passionate about saying them either. The truth is in the action. And the things that are real are only proven over time.
I guess I can offically call this christmas season to a close. Realtively uneventful and much more calm (read easy) than last year or the last few years. Some traditions rise up and some fall each year. My mom and I spoke briefly. She seemed happy and also concerned about my brother. Happy to have spoken to him, concerned by his life. I sensed that there was something strained in her…the merry was missing. Love is a strange animal. I learned little about it from her though. Ah, see some traditions never change.
What did love teach you?
Love taught me how to laugh
& how to cry
Love taught me how to tell the truth
& how to lie
Love taught me how to fall
& how to fly
And love taught me you can’t ever ask why.
I was ten and he was four when our parents divorced. He lost more than I did in that event. He was losing married parents. I only lost a man who scared me. A man I called dad but only because he was on paper and I was too young to know the difference. We were divided equally like assets. Of course I was easy; I never belonged to the man anyway. The little boy, he was different, made of her mouth and his eyes and curly hair.
She left him with his father without a fight and it is a decision she says she regrets almost every day. It is the nagging thought in the back of her mind that she forgot to do something but can not figure out what. It is the sadness she feels when she hears his voice on the telephone. It is the feeling of emptiness somewhere deep in her chest when she is sitting alone in a crowd.
From the time I was thirteen until this day, I have only seen him only enough times that you could counts on your own hands. There was a Christmas or two, a road trip to Houston, and the saddest two times across the bars of a cell. Even then, he was still a boy. We are both older now – adults who do often share the same emotion of children looking for our parents. We are her children.
When he called at five am yesterday, I was surprised. He said he was in town. He came to my home. He is a man now. Though the drugs are gone, he drinks, swears, and uses the “n” word in casual conversations. Which he continued to do even after I scolded him with all my sisterly kindness and affection not to do it in my presence. A stranger with different ideology, different beliefs than my own. I look in his face, thinking I know nothing about him and then find myself in the very next breath telling him how much I love him. When he asked me to come with him and his friend for a days adventure, for one brief moment, I saw the boy who used to follow me everywhere. And, I will join him later today. I suspect where I will watch him and ponder the idea of family. We are family but are we family? We share some of the same blood. We are related but do we relate? Is any of that important really? Should it be simply that we are brother and sister and that is enough?
My mom subtly pushes this all the time. She wants us to be together. Maybe it is to ease her guilt but I believe mostly because she feels we need to be able to depend on each other. She knows deep down that it is what we really lost along the way. She might be right.
Home never looks the same as when you left it. For some brief moment in time each of you has changed independent of each other. You’ve gone your way and had new experiences. Home always stays home.
To borrow from David Byrne
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE
Is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me ’round
I come home
Born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun
But the less we say about it the better
Let’s make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the clouds
I’m okay I know nothing’s wrong
Hi Ho – Got plenty of time…..
Hi Ho – Got light in your eyes…..
And you’re standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up and say goodnight , Say goodnight…..
Is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home
You lifted up your wings
I guess this must be the place
Because I can’t tell one from another
Did I find you or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks this is where I’ll be
Hi Ho – We drift in and out…..
Hi Ho – Sing into my mouth…..
And out of all those kinds of people
You’ve got a face with a view
And I’m just an animal looking for a home
To share the same space for a minute or two
Will you love me until my heart stops?
Will you love me until I’m dead?
You’ve got eyes that light up
Eyes that look through
Cover up the blank spot
Hit me on the head