Sunday, September 30, 2012

Then Give Me Another Word For It

It rained this afternoon and now the sun is out, going low in the sky and it's powerful beautiful. Just powerful. A second ago the wind blew and pecan leaves clattered down and raindrops shimmered off the leaves like a second tiny shower, like diamonds and rust, as Joan Baez sang, back in the old days, so beautifully that it still makes me shiver, all this time down the road. Here. Go ahead and click on this and if you don't want to look at the video, that's okay. Just listen to that voice.

A good fall song, isn't it? Long ago love calling again from a phone booth in the Midwest on the full moon.  Some of you are way too young to remember what it meant to live in a universe in which Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were lovers and that's okay although I feel sad for you.
It was something.
And then...well, that song that came from it. We've got that forever.

Diamonds and rust.

But that isn't what I was aiming to write about. It's just that that phrase came to me because I always think of the falling pecan leaves as sounding rusty, they are full of sap  and I think I might be able to identify them by their sound alone, were I blind. And then the infinitesimally small drops of water, like soft shards of diamonds. They came together. They reminded me.

I counted the churches between Lily's house and mine today on my drive home and there were six or seven, I've already forgotten AND a Baptist Children's Home and there's probably a church there too and then, right down the road, there is this:

It's not a church. I can't really tell you what it is beyond that a man lives there. He makes these signs. He collects cans to recycle. He collects junk for reasons I am not privy to. I do not know this man but my next door neighbor does. She says he is filled with some sort of spirit and I believe that. We all are, in one way or another.

After it rained I walked around in the yard for a little bit, putting the compost in the compost thing and collecting my eggs and checking out the rain drops decorating the Cherokee Rose, the ferns, the palms, every living green thing in my yard. I bought a snake plant today at the Publix and don't ask me why. When I was young, I thought that snake plants were perhaps the most boring, useless plants in existence and in the last few years, I have become drawn to them for no apparent reason. Maybe, like watching birds, it's an old person thing that happens and there IS no explanation. Anyway, I stuck that snake plant in a pot of dirt that was vacant and this winter, when it gets cold, I'll bring it into the house and put it in the library. It'll look good in there. I just know it. It's hard to think that it's going to get cold. Our few days of coolness have disappeared although it is not nearly as hot as it was a month ago. It is pleasant if one doesn't try to work outside and even then, it is tolerable which is far better than unbearable. 

It's been a good Sunday. I found myself in the grocery store wheeling Owen around in the race car basket remembering how, when I was a young mother, I had fantasies of going to the grocery store all by myself and now here I am, a grandmother, actually calling my daughter and asking her if she wants to go to the store, her and the boys, with me. And it's just as crazy as it was when she was a baby, Owen grabbing things and throwing them in the cart when I'm not looking but I get lots of kisses and once, when Gibson was fussing in his seat at the Costco, I reached for him and Lily said, "Do you want to hold him?" and I said, "Oh. So much." And I did. The child is kissing now. Hugging and kissing. Six months old and how can you pass up any opportunity to get some of that? 
I found some artichokes that were as big as Gibson's head at Publix and I tried to get Owen to pose with one. He gladly obliged, as long as the choke was obscuring his face. 

That boy. He kept sitting up on the bar and leaning back, trusting me to hold him up and I sang very softly into his ear a song that I made up about holding my beloved boy and we got away with that until his mother told him to sit in his seat! and she was right. 

So that's what I've done today. Counted churches and bought artichokes and sung to my grandson and kissed my other grandson and been kissed by him and wondered at the beauty of a sudden breeze kicking rain drops and pecan leaves into the shining air and sticking a snake plant into some dirt and so forth. 

I am really tired this evening and I have no idea why. I haven't done shit in the physical realm. But now I'm going to go cook some supper including those giant artichokes and tonight I'll probably dream about old days, or the people from old days who still come and visit me in my dream life, unaccountably but regularly, and yeah, it'll be like diamonds and rust. It always is when that happens, and I wake and here I am, but there I was too, sure and real and sharp as eggshells, strange as the call of distant crows, powerful as the beauty I saw here just a few minutes ago when I started writing this, diamonds and rust but already I only feel rusty and the train is calling from far down the tracks, so far that it, too, might just be a dream. 


  1. I love these posts. And i one that Gibson is kissing.

  2. That was LOVE that Gibson is kissing. Damn autocorrect.

  3. That last paragraph was a hall of famer. Nice one Sister Moon. Now I have to go look up the lyrics to Diamonds and Rust. It made me think of all the great rock and roll lovers that didn't work out. Mostly Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. At least Bob and Joan don't have to sing to each other, all the hits, about each other. It's sad...Romeo and Juliet sad. Makes for good records though.

  4. Gradydoctor- Full on open-mouthed beast kisses. I swear to you. And he grabs your face. He's a wonder. He's a baby.

    Brother Wrecking Ball- I'm glad you liked it. What a gorgeous song. I think of all the amazing love songs and they make me sad sometimes. I mean- Eric Clapton divorced the woman he wrote Layla about? Well. And finally, here is the woman's answer.

  5. That was powerful writing, too. It is your gift. So glad that you had a good Sunday...

  6. I had no idea about Joan Baez and Bob Dylan and I do NOT have age as an excuse!

    I do have to say tho that in my opinion they are more extraordinary in appearance than John and Yoko.

    And now I'm craving baby kisses and artichokes.


  7. I love baby kisses! But, not artichokes.

    I love Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and listen to both when I go for walks..even though I am young. In body, anyway.

    Perhaps I will wonder into your crazy dreams some night, and we will explore empty rooms of big houses together.

  8. Mama D- Ah. Thank you.

    Michelle- Yes you do. Have age as an excuse. It was so, so, SO long ago. You probably were a baby if you were even born. Artichokes were good. But baby kisses were better.

    SJ- You are an old soul. You can explore dream houses with me any time.

  9. Beautiful song, beautiful post. I love that song and feel so lucky to have grown up a child of the sixties...and feel bad for anyone who didn't! I love that there are so many young people who appreciate "our" music and feel like they should have grown up during that time.

    Thanks for Diamonds and Rust. It brought tears to my eyes, as it always has. Even though it's technically not a song of the
    60's, their love sure was!

  10. Bob was not the best to Joan who sort of paved the way for him. She loved him dearly and gave him some cufflinks, but he didn't leave her with much except bad feelings. One of the best songs ever, that one. I remember thinking that if I had been Dylan I would have loved her dearly too.

  11. I was born a decade too late and have this music in my bones despite it. Once I went backstage at a Bela Fleck concert at the Greek Theater. I had Henry in a pack on my chest, and I wandered around with one of Bela's band members. Joan Baez lay on a table getting a massage, and when she sat up, she spoke with me a bit and patted Henry's little head. She was SO BEAUTIFUL and I was so star-struck.

    That song is outrageously beautiful.

  12. Honey, thanks for sharing Sunday with us. You're my church, dancing and the Bat Shit Crazy. That's my day.

    Love and kisses,

    Beth the midwife

  13. Oh yeah, one of the best songs ever. I've seen Joan Baez live several times and she knocks my socks off every time. That is always a powerful song -- when she gets to the part about the crummy hotel over Washington Square, "our breath comes out in white clouds, mingles and hangs in the air," I always get goose bumps.

    I'm jealous of Elizabeth's Henry. Can you imagine Joan Baez patting you on the head as a baby? What a blessing!

    I love that the guy with the Jesus sign is waving at you. Just spreading the word, I guess.

  14. I just devoured this post as I gotta get the kids up for school and work . . . Then I'm gonna come back and savour every single word of it, and that song.
    I'm gonna walk the two miles in the rain and I'll look forward to getting home to you and Bob and Joan and Owen and Gibson . . . And the guy with the rubbish and sign.
    What a world you live in Ms Moon . . . I feel priveleged to have this window.
    Gotta fly x

  15. Sounds like a lovely day indeed!

  16. I listened to Baez for the first time just after hearing this song off the Judas Priest album, I know, weird. I had a habit of discovering good music after it was covered.
    Her voice rattles me.

  17. Lulumarie- I just love you.

    Rubye Jack- Isn't it a gorgeous song? Just gorgeous.

    Elizabeth- No way! Awesome! I've seen Bela Fleck several times and even, yes, been backstage with him (I was working hospitality) but Joan Baez was never there. Darn.

    Syd- I think he wrote her a few songs. I guess, in the entire scheme of things, in a lifetime, that's pretty good. Bob Dylan is never going to write a song about me, I'll tell you that.

    Beth- Damn. That just makes me so happy.

    Steve- I live in an odd place, don't I? I've only see Joan live once. She seemed rather serious. But beautiful.

    Bugerlugs- I thought I was going to get rained on as I walked too but did not. Crazy weather here today.

    Jill- It had its moments. For sure.

    Magnum- That's bizarre. Joan Baez was a very, very important force in the sixties. And her voice is a national treasure.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.