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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Last Thoughts on Leaving Amelia Island Behind

I didn't feel a strong reconnection with the place until I walked the beach before sunrise Tuesday morning. Having had a talk with Kathy Feeney last week as she was preparing to leave for her first year of college, I was mindful of the goodbye concept and the dark. I was consoling her about the good-byes she was getting ready for that would take place just a I was starting my Opening Farewell to Amelia Island. One of the reasons we work well as a songwriting team is there is a certain strange symmetry to our lives even though we've seen each other only three times in three years.

A year ago, I was driving at dawn through the Everglades. Coming back from Miami. A recording studio training session. I started to write a lyric in my head about driving west as fast as I could to stay in the dark. The song had a refrain, "Sun chasing her, she's chasing the night." I liked the concept, wrote it down, fleshed it out a bit but never got back to rewrite the lyric. I looked at a few times to see what it needed. It wasn't happening. Then, a month ago, Kathy, sent me her lyric ideas in poem form about escaping into the darkness. I had never shared my Chasing the Night lyric with her. I'd be stunned but I've become used to her sneaking into my head at times. Some weird telepathy ebbs and flows and has since she was 9 years old. I've known her since she was six but we've been good friends for half her life. I won't share that lyric with you until we've had a chance to work it out but it's been on my mind and I've played with the music already.

So last week as she was packing, I suggested to Kathy that we try to find the beauty in the good-bye. Let sadness, nostalgia, a sense of gain and a sense of loss, join the party. Accept their parting gifts and thank them for coming. They'll politely leave when it's time. Then a graceful good-bye will feel more natural. Those were my background thoughts as I took my good-bye walk on the beach Tuesday morning before the sun came up. Something I've done countless times. The moon was occluded. It was very shadowy. I couldn't see what I was writing:

Winged phantoms just outside my sight
Singing warning notes to whom?
Scribbling words in muted moonlight
Brave assertions against the gloom

This is when I feel closest to my primal essence. I'm a walking prayer. I have never run into anybody at that hour but now I think I see someone coming toward me. A man and his large dog pass by silently.

Silhouettes on several legs invade my solitude
Man and beast pass, no greeting bark or sign
Each embracing the reverent mood
You go to your church, I'll go to mine

mary lou

My mind drifts back to the good-bye scenario and I take notes for another song that may or may not ever see the light of day. I pass Marylou, a great blue heron that is almost always in the surf by the fishing pier no matter how early I get there. She hides in the shadow cast by the nautical warning lights, and pokes her head into the lighted parts to find breakfast. I've seen her begging bait from fishermen. Seen her tangled in filament line. This verse doesn't seem to fit here. I'll save it for another song:

Strong blue heron, fished the surf for years
Legs dragging hooks and fishing line, brings one to tears
Refuses rescue, lethal lancing beak and stealth wings
Fleeing moonlight surfers and other threatening things

amelia sunrise #2 As the sun rises things start to change. I'm seeing things that were there all along but other things just change with the light.

Sunrise pushes the air under winged escorts of the dolphins
Their majesty startles, their prey accepts and begs no mercy
Sunrise pushes air through my hair, whispering the day begins
Sunrise pushes the air around and sea oats bow and curtsy

So as change takes place it must be time for a bridge but it'll be a short one. If this is going to be a song, it needs a chorus and a final verse. I've been teasing you for a few days with photos that my Cathy took. So I thought I'd show you how my various muses work. Two of them rhyme with -pathy (the Greek root for feel, I believe), and the other is called Amelia.
amelia sunrise #1

posted by Bud @ 5:27 AM

Your talent never ceases to amaze me. The beauty in your words, coupled with the photos brings new life to verse that, even standing alone is beautiful, together are breathtaking. I felt as though I were there, seeing through your eyes, experiencing along with you.
I like how you combined the pictures with your thoughts. It sure looks like a lovely place Bud.
Jade, that is so sweet. Thank you. Wish Cathy could have been with me to take some moonlit shots.

Thanks, Kim, I'd like to do more of that but I think I lose my dial-up fans when I do.
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