Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Review And A Ramble

Sunday, creeping up on noon and we just finished our breakfast.
It is very quiet and still here in Lloyd, quiet enough that the music from the church next door can be heard, a distant throb and wail.

We watched "Under The Influence" last night and I loved it. Of course. The title is a double entendre, on one hand a tongue in cheek nod to Keith's well-known love of substances, but on the other and more serious hand, a reference to all of the music that influenced him and still does influence him. Started with his mama whom he called, "a beautiful master of the radio dial." Jazz and blues and then, country music, reggae, a little bit of Mozart thrown in. Billy Holiday, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Porter Wagner, Chuck Berry, Elvis. How when the Stones started out, they were simply interested in bringing Chicago blues to the attention of a wider audience. What it meant to him to bring that back to the U.S. The incredible amazement when he got to meet some of his primal heroes, play with them. There's footage of him playing with Muddy and getting slapped down by Chuck. There are so many great lines in the film.
"I crashed at Muddy's house and woke up at Howling Wolf's."
How many people can say that?
Just as in his autobiography, in the documentary he gives credit and honor over and over and over again.
The New York Times review of the film said that there is a "certain amount of self-aggrandizement and of Mr. Richards laughing at his own remarks."
I kept waiting to hear some of that self-aggrandizement but all I heard was an honest assessment of the role Mr. Richards played in furthering and evolving the music that helped shape and define a very interesting era in history. There is a sweetness to the man which is stunning, really. I mean, I grew up with images like this of Keith Richards.

Menacing, dark, always dancing with the devil. 

And yet, inside him there was this child, plotting on how to get ahold of his grandfather's guitar.

And now there is this.

As we watched the film, Mr. Moon asked, "Is it fair to say that he looks like Yoda?"
And I said, "Definitely."

I was thinking yesterday about how as we age, we lose our friends. How the very, very old will often say, "Everyone I know has died."
And how we also lose our mentors, our touchstones, our people who seemed to be there in one way or another as we grow up, as we grow in all ways. I remember when John Lennon was murdered at the absurdly young age of forty and I thought, "Oh, John. Who's going to teach us how to grow old?"
Well. Maybe I have my answer. 

Richards says he is not aging, he is evolving. He does not ignore the fact that he is, despite all evidence to the contrary, not immortal. He discusses that. But his life is a good example that this evolving need not ever end. Even as Keith's greatest joy in music is to play with the Rolling Stones (and honestly, I think that Mick Jagger will always and forever be his truest love), he will never stop loving to play music which makes him happy with all sorts of musicians. 
In fact, the joy on his face when was making "Crosseyed Heart" in the studio is transcendent. That is the only word for it. And despite those gnarled fingers with their thickened joints, he can still play the shit out of guitar. He can shred it, he can tickle it, he can weave hummingbirds on it. 
And oh, how happy that makes him!

So yeah, overall I sort of liked the film. 
I think I'll go watch it again. 

It's Sunday. Here's the biggest banana spider (golden orb weaver) in the yard this year.

You can't get a sense of scale, but when I tell you that her abdomen is bigger and thicker than the top joint of my pointer finger, it is the truth. Soon, she will die, having mated and laid her eggs which will hatch out next year. 
Perhaps out of those hundreds of tiny creatures which emerge from her eggs will be a daughter, as big and beautiful as she is and she, too, will pass down the genes of her species and spend the summer outside of my porch, inspiring my awe and amazement. Most of those minuscule hatchlings will not make it to grow a tenth of her size. 

So it goes. 

One never knows which of us will survive, will thrive, will further whatever it is that we've been given to do on this earth. Most of us, in fact, will probably never even know what that is. 

But some do. And aren't we lucky to have them?

Much love...Ms. Moon


  1. I still think that of John Lennon. All the time. I love seeing photos of your family eating outside. I still want that to be my reality some day. Love you Mary Moon. Sunday Sunday hold on to your hat.

  2. I suspect you got Netflix so you could watch this documentary. Thank you for your review. Now I know what I will be watching today. Love those blue mason jar glasses!

  3. Rebecca- I cry when I think about him. Still. Dear John. Dear, insane, beautiful John. Sunday, Sunday indeed. I am weeping as I write this. I just watched the documentary again and at the end of it, Keith talks about his dad and how they were estranged for twenty years and Keith thought his dad was probably so disappointed in him- drug busts!- and yet, when they came back together they became "best mates" and his dad went on every tour, to every show with his son for the next twenty years.
    It is a beautiful day here. If you were here, we could take a lunch out beside the fig tree and eat on a blanket and lay on our backs and watch the sky. I wish we could. Love you, too.

    Angella- No suspecting about it. I totally admit to getting the Netflix and the Roku for just that purpose! And yet, I am loving watching other things on it too. I hope you like it!

  4. It's so funny to see pictures of formidable, famous talents when they're children -- and you can see them, there, before any of that happened and they were just kids, taking it all in.

    Every time Mark David Chapman comes up for parole I just grit my teeth and think, it must be awful to be that guy -- a person who bears the anger of almost everyone on the planet. And yet I'm just as angry and I'm always happy when he's sent back to prison.

    You have such amazing spiders. I was thinking the other day about Pat, our balcony spider from a couple of years ago, and how all those babies hatched the following spring and every single one of them disappeared. I don't know whether Pat has any descendants at all. Kind of sad.

  5. I still mourn the beautiful John Lennon. I was young when he was murdered but I remember knowing deeply that we had lost a good soul and I mourned for the loss of Johm and his souls evolution. What we would have gained from him , what he would have gone on to contribute.

  6. I watched the film before I saw this post, I swear. I loved it too!
    The bits about his dad and his grandkids? Nearly knocked me over. I love it when musicians, real musicians, pay homage to their mentors. It gives me shivers.

  7. And to think I knew just about nothing about the Stones before starting to read your blog! I was a little too young and a little too dumb to be very aware of them as people, although - of course - I had heard their better-known tunes.

    Thanks for the continuing education, Mary :)

  8. He's one of the great loves of your life isn't he? Lucky him, lucky you.

    When John died I had the immediate feeling that the whole planet had changed and not for the better. I miss him, miss him, miss him.

  9. I'm stuck on the great big beautiful bug that is bigger then it looks on your page. You are my brave nature woman sister.

  10. Steve Reed- Yeah. I have the same feelings about Chapman. And doesn't Mother Nature usually err on the side of "too much"? I think so. But sometimes, as my friend Bill Wharton says, "Too much is just enough."

    Leisha- I can only be so grateful for what he left us with. As Yoko said, "With your mind you changed the world." So true.

    Heartinhand- I know! I have to admit I also loved the part where he and Chuck Berry bowed up. I would have been completely intimidated by either of those men. And I loved Keith's quote, "Chuck has a different way of expressing gratitude."

    jenny_o- Happy to be of service, my dear!

    liv- Yes. I think we all did. How could he possibly be gone? I still don't really believe it. Nope. I do not. Even though I know he is.

    Joanne- I've never ever heard of anyone being harmed in any way by one of those spiders.
    Nothing to be afraid of there.
    And you should hear me scream like a little child when I see a snake. Sometimes. Not always.
    And I won't touch them and I don't touch frogs or toads.

    Elizabeth- Heh-heh. "Keith Richards. Connecticut.USA. Planet Earth."


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.