Tuesday, September 1, 2009
If I needed you . . . would you come to me?
"The rivers like gypsies, down her black canyons fall."
"You will miss sunrise, if you close your eyes."
Today was a day full of Townes, in one little town, my home, San Francisco. It's a city I suppose, but more often than not I feel as though I live in a quaint little town, where I know you and you might know me. I bought a book today, The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt. I introduced myself via the photo section, cheating some may say, but alas, I am a visual gal and loved witnessing the evolution of this person, this man who has effected my life from his early grave.
On my bus ride home, I found myself almost glaring at the passenger seated to my right who talked, incessantly, on her phone; not about the weather, the life and times she lives in, but about nonsense. I sound brash here, right? Well, justifiably so I hope. I care not to hear the intimate details of a stranger's life - in this capacity. I wanted to hear John Kurth, author, and his accounts of knowing Townes, and instead had my mind mottled by someone who never learned manners. Just because you can talk on the phone, doesn't mean you should. Simple. Manners. There are two issues at hand, and before I go on, or hop upon a soapbox not so sturdy, I'll give this disclaimer: I love being connected to people, it's why I write. I am, however, not a fan of the technology that has come to impede solace and is characterized by frivolous and rather empty dialogue. Our voice is a gift, on so many levels, let's say something. If the girl seated beside me had taken a moment to absorb her surroundings by getting lost in a book, or simply watching, as I often do, she might have felt more fulfilled, more connected. Maybe she would know where she was and not risk missing her stop, her destination. Am I ranting, not my goal. Nevertheless, I only wish that the technology we have at our fingertips, worked to bridge gaps, rekindle friendships and share sentiments, rather than reduce us to ease, and vulger simplicity and by extension transform us into hosts who don't request RSVPs but rather demand guests, and audiences and pulpits. Just a thought? Since when did intimate conversations lose their intimacy? Sad day.
To Townes, I can attest that I think he is a man of many words, and I cannot remove myself from his presence today - the printed words that recount his presence and then the voice, his own, that visits me here in my home, as I write. Townes Van Zandt had problems with alcohol and suffered from depression. He was, in my gray eyes, a hopeless romantic; a term my therapist has used more than once to refernce 'parts' of me. I don't think TVZ would have embraced the technological advances that we know today. Matter of fact, I think it would drive him even further into his state of darkness, of deep down creativity. He would still play his guitar in a shed, in a room lit only by candles or new sun. And that is why I read. I read to remember that the ways, dysfunctional some might say, but the real ways nonetheless, of communicating do not come from raunchy quips or one lined isms posted on a friend's blog or shared among overflowing capacities of commuters. Those ways of connecting, come from music, from people and from life . . . a life that I hope doesn't get lost in the shuffle of technology or transient text.
A hypocrite you might say, as I write to you, (!), on my computer? Technology, I attest, isn't bad, it's the way we use it that is a conumndrum. Sharing the beauty of a day that you were blessed enough to witness, and then able to capture and later invite other to experience . . . that's technology at its best. And hopefully I've shared with you some beauty; although many know him as Townes Van Zandt. I know beauty today as this man, as the new baby whose name recalls his words, as friends and the sun; just sun, just everything.
I know beauty when I write. Be it paper and pen, hunt and peck heather typewriting or via my soft to the touch keypad . . . writing is beauty. Talking in your head essentially, and then sharing. Listening can be laced with beauty too. Maybe not on a bus, or maybe only on a bus. Either way, thank you for letting me write, and share. And hopefully connect to you 4 special people I ever think of when I write here. A lover's lullaby I send to you, via Townes.
And thank you also to someone who no longer experiences the beauty I so hope to dole out. To him, I extend gratitude for introducing me to Townes before I met Will Townes. But rest assured Will would have told me all about him, I just hope I can do that for him now . . .