Well, that's a lie. I can remember what I ate for supper last night but the point being is, I have no musical ability whatsoever but if I do have one talent in the musical field it is a talent for meeting and falling in love with all sorts of people who have vast musical talents and abilities. Who are artists and craftsmen and craftswomen in the field. Singers and songwriters and players of many instruments and like everything else in this world, once you step into a place of true love, you realize you are in a sweet web of many connected parts and so it is and so it goes and many of my oldest friends are musicians and I respect and honor them with all of my heart and I hope they know how much true joy and hope and inspiration and dancing and healing they do with their art.
They have all done that for me, whether I have listened to them in bars or in listening rooms or in theaters or American Legion Halls or my very own house. Whether I listened to them quietly with my eyes closed or while dancing my heart out.
Musicians slay me. They are some of the most intelligent, charming, humorous, down-to-earth, spiritual, irreligious people I know and I am in awe of them because they can do things that I can't fathom being able to do and most of the ones I know can cuss like motherfucking sailors which is a big plus in my book.
Now. Let me stop right here and say- in the spirit of honesty and fairness and balance- I have known some real asshole musicians too. There's nothing about being a musician which confers immunity to assholiness. But here's a secret- the biggest assholes are not the most talented musicians. Not in my experience. They just think they are.
BUT, all of that is not exactly what I came here to talk about. What I came here to talk about is the visit I had with my friends Marilyn and Spencer Bohren who visited me today. Spencer is a musician and Marilyn is his wife/life partner/mama-of-his-children, and one of the finest career managers in this world. She's also a midwife and a teacher. I've written about Spencer and Marilyn before and Elizabeth got to meet them just a few weeks ago and talked about them on her blog.
Webs within webs, you know.
It was a wonderful visit. They have been over in Apalachicola where Spencer was playing at the Dixie Theater there which is a very special place for the Bohrens. They are travelers, those too, and back before they ever had children they discovered Apalachicola and spent quite some time there.
And so they drove here today and Jessie and August came out to see them. When I met them, Jessie was not yet born and Lily was still a baby. Marilyn had, as I did, three children at the time and all of them were traveling the country together in an Airstream trailer that they pulled behind a red-and-white '55 Chevy.
Picture from this website.
And so it came to pass that when they were traveling through our part of the country, they'd park that Airstream and that glorious car in our driveway and as Spencer said today as we were reminiscing, when all of our kids met, that's when the magic happened.
I've written about this before. How when the Bohrens came to town, I let my kids stay out of school and those children wrote and produced plays and made-up games and had more fun than they could have had at Disney World, right there in our backyard. I specifically remember one production which featured whip-cream pies in faces. And we were all the sort of parents who laughed and laughed and had no problem whatsoever with providing whipped cream when it came to ART.
But all of it was a sort of Kismet.
Once Marilyn and I took a trip by ourselves together down to St. Petersburg where we stayed at a motel on Pass-A-Grille Beach and spent every minute of every day and a whole lot of the nights talking and talking and talking and sharing hearts and stories and secrets and we wrote each other letters for years and recommended and traded books back and forth and we both had our fourth babies around the same time.
Her last baby is about to graduate from law school and as I said, my last baby came over with HER baby. We ate lunch, quiche from my hen's eggs and salad from the garden (we had not discussed any lunch plans but Spencer and Marilyn knew that I'd have that covered) and we caught up on news about our children and grandchildren and their travels (they are still travelin' people and now go far beyond the borders of the US) and when we got up from the table I took them on a walk in the yard to show them all of the sights- the chickens, the cats, the camellias, the bee tree. We'd been discussing my incredibly mixed feelings about moving to Apalachicola and at one point, as the wind made the magnolia tree sing in its rustling voice, Spencer grabbed me by the shoulders and said, "Oh Mary! Your problems are so difficult! Having to choose between one paradise and another!" And we laughed. Because he is exactly right.
And then Lily brought her three over after she picked up Owen at school and THEN the fun really began and Owen told Spencer all about...something. Pokemon? I have no idea. Gibson, who stayed up too late partying last night had fallen asleep on his way over and then fell right back asleep on my bed when they got here so they didn't really get to meet him but they got the gist of the situation of my life.
Which is chaos.
Jessie gave them a copy of her Cicada Ladies CD and they gave me a copy of Spencer's new CD.
Before they left, Mr. Moon had just gotten home so they got to see him for a hot second too and when I went to hug them good-bye, my tears welled up.
I bumped my head gently with Marilyn's, wanting with all of my heart to be able to simply transmit all of the thoughts I had in me to her. All of the love.
Here are two pictures. One with August showing you just how big a thrill it was for him to meet Spencer.
They were incredibly pleased to be here to witness that.
Yeah. Musicians. I've known a few.
I told Spencer that the last time I saw him play, I realized that although he's always been a very, very fine musician, that he's burst through to a new realm entirely.
"And I've heard a lot of music," I told him.
And I've known a lot of people.
And these are the finest kind.
I love them so much I gave them my audio version of Keith Richard's "Life" right off my hallway altar.
What more can I say?