Day 244: From Blown Speakers

Miles could be pretty messy. I think it is the natural state of teenagers, messiness.

But he was very organized about a number of things. I recently added some new photographs to his Film Por Vida portfolio. He kept a small portfolio on his desk of all the pictures he received in the mail from Film Por Vida friends and they were very well-organized. He slipped each print in its own sleeve and arranged them in alphabetical order by the name of the sender.

His computer was very orderly too. He kept his sets of photos in nice, neat folders. It has made it easy to reproduce his zines and arrange some of his pictures in sets. But that’s not why he did it. I am grateful for his organizational thinking.

He was not so organized about things like his clothes, but I know he was orderly in what he wanted to do and how he did some things.

I miss his messes.

Day 214: Testament of Youth in Verse

The Campus Theater showed two movies in memory of Miles not long ago. They showed My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle, two films by Hayao Miyazaki. It was a great day.

I had never seen Totoro before, but it was one of Miles’s favorite movies. He and Kali watched it many times. I can see why he loved it. It is a great magical fantasy. There is a blurry line between the real world and the imaginary world of the forest creatures discovered by the children.

I love so many scenes in the movie. The bus stop. The plants growing. Mei discovering Totoro. So many.

I went out to the crash site a few days after I saw the movies. I sat in the gravel by the side of the road and examined the new flowers that Winnie planted. I looked at the stones at the base. I delivered a rock that I took from the creek at the Middleswarth-Snyder Trail near Troxelville where we walked on the trail and found the plane crash on our last hike together. I looked at the woods beyond the monument. I sat and stared and thought of Miles. I imagined his spirit among the Totoros of the Bald Eagle Forest. He would be right at home with them and they with him. It is a busy road, but it is mostly quiet and if you step into the forest just a few feet, you can hardly hear the cars that speed by.

Day 213: Moves

Miles and I took off our shoes and walked along the paths in our bare feet. I saw a guy do it once in the woods near Morgantown and he said it was perfectly comfortable on the paths of the Hemlock Trail. Miles and I tried it and it felt good. The path was rocky at places but our feet were fine. We scrambled over rocks and ran and walked and climbed from one set of waterfalls to another. It was at Swallow Falls, the state park near Deep Creek Lake where we went every year. If the depth was just right, we could swim at the foot of the falls. One waterfall cascades down the gradual decline of rocks and forms a pool below. The other waterfall is a sheer drop. You can swim at the base of each one. We would swim at both. It was great fun. The noise at each was deafening. At the very base of the falls, you can hardly hear the other people next to you as they talk. You can ride the stream on your back and let the current carry you downstream through the smaller falls . At one spot between the two falls, there is a spot where you can jump from the rocks to the water below, about 20 feet or so. The locals do flips. I watched.

Day 119: Go Places

I have posted songs by the New Pornographers on here before. AC Newman is the leader of the band. They are a super group full of rock stars, but Newman write most of the songs. He write beautiful songs. The album Challengers is my favorite of theirs, and this may be my favorite song on the album. It is difficult to choose just one as a favorite and I am not too into choosing favorites anyway, but this song is special.

The song is so full of promise, like it is on the cusp of something really exciting and optimistic, and the three-four beat keeps pushing it along. Neko Case has a beautiful voice. She delivers the words so perfectly. And the lyrics are really great:

“Come head on, full circle
Our arms fill with miracles
Play hearts, kid, they work well
Like classics play aces
Stay with me, go places
Once more for the ages”

And this is my favorite stanza:

“Come one now, come all ye
This story breaks free here
Tales from the back pages
From somewhere, Encida
Deus ex machina
Good morning, Christina”

Stay with me, go places. But s often I consider such optimism and see it in the light and shadows of my life and it seems so far far away.


England and France 388

Day 62: Another Drug Deal of the Heart

The New Pornographers had a new album in 2014 too, and this is a great little song from it. The NPs are an all-star band. AC Newman, Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, Dan Bejar are all great singers, musicians, and songwriters in their own right and together they make a better noise. My friend Kris introduced me to them years ago on a mix CD she made me. It was not until years later that they really clicked with me.

Day 38: Adventures in Solitude

Before I had kids, I had friends and family, and I thought I knew a lot about love. You think you know about life and love, and then you have children. When you have kids, you realize that there are new dimensions of love that you could not previously fathom. There is nothing like it, and each parent who loves a child is complicit to a love like no other. There is a uniqueness to that bond.

Before I had Miles I thought I knew myself. I thought I understood what it is to know other people and to know the world. At the moment he was born, I knew differently. I knew better. Before Miles was born, I was alone in the world. Once I saw him for the first time and once I held him in my arms, I felt solitude lifted from me and I felt bonded forever to my son, my boy, my love.