Your Bright Baby Blues

Everything sounds good when it rains.

On the east coast, rain is a nuisance. On the west, it’s a novelty, kind of like snow in Hot Lanta, just a bit more frequent.

But not this year.

Sometime in January, after days in the 80s, you realize…it hasn’t rained!

And unless you’re a skier, you believe this is good, until you see pictures of dry reservoirs… Seems like America lurches from disaster to disaster, and only those who live where they’re happening care. Yup, when it snows in D.C. we don’t care about the canceled flights in California, and when we’re shaken and stirred by an earthquake, Syracuse shrugs its shoulders.

But unlike the old days, prior to the Internet, back before storms became a story, with a beginning, middle and end, today we’re aware they’re coming. We change plans. We check the hourly reports. We know how bad traffic is gonna be tied up, yes, SoCal is the epicenter of gridlock, don’t ask me to go anywhere during rush hour, even if the Beatles are reuniting and U2 is giving a free show.

So I found myself with the wipers blazing, barely able to see the road, while Jefferson Starship’s “Miracles” emanated from the speakers.

When they were finally free of Matthew Katz, this was the apotheosis, so big in ’75 if you were alive you remember the sexual reference…

I had a taste of the real world
When I went down on you girl

No swear words necessary, all over the airwaves, this was the boomer victory lap, when rock won, before disco came and wiped the slate clean.

But before that, as the sidewalks were darkening, I was listening to some acoustic music on my Sonos system and that’s when I heard the line…

I can’t help thinkin’ I’m just a day away from where I wanna be

It shocked me. Because that’s who I used to be, how I used to feel.

When I was still young, when I was still optimistic.

And I wondered if I could be so again.

Turns out I’m an observer. I used to be a participant. But in the last few decades my voice has been silenced and I’ve become amazed at the stories people tell. And that they do. If you ask. If they trust.

And it all comes down to people. Flawed in extremis, even though few admit it.

I’m sitting down by the highway
Down by that highway side
Everybody’s goin’ somewhere
Ridin’ just as fast as they can ride

Ain’t that the truth. Everybody’s selling something, trying to get ahead, and then you realize none of it matters, that you’d better enjoy the ride, because that’s all you’ve got.

I guess they got a lot to do
Before they can rest assured
Their lives are justified
Pray to God for me babe, he can let me slide

Justification. Is your resume complete? Did you go to the right college, marry the right person, have perfect children, can you fit into your old clothes?

And then there are those who drop out, get divorced, who have lumpy bodies and no children to call them up.

These are the people who are music fans. When you’ve got more questions than answers you turn to the bards. Speaking truth. Making sense of it for us.

Baby if you need me
Like I know I need you
There’s just one thing
I’ll ask you to do

Take my hand and lead me
To the hole in your garden wall
And pull me through
Pull me through

I need you more than you need me. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. It’s a cornucopia of feedback, but it makes me feel connected, like my life is worth living.

And when you tell me your story, when you testify…

My life is complete.

Your Bright Baby Blues – Miracles – Spotify link

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