In the middle of the night we think daring thoughts, unless mind-dulled and fraught from darktime bedtime haunts we have learned to numb. It was past 1 am at the Tavern and this place is basement punkrunk as HB or Long Beach ever was or could hope to be. Randolph was on the drums and when it was over in the fifty degree December balm and mist of the wshhhhhhhing Atlantic sea I said to him, remember me? Yes, Kevin’s girl, that one summer, 6th street. He said I see you around all the time which speaks to time in this timeless beach town, where I haven’t lived since 2011.
Kevin of course is gone now, and Konan getting finally clean on his own beach in Florida on the phone with me in HB. Muller calling every day from prison north county LA. Ghosts ghosts ghosts that haunt. I could see the pier in the distance, or where the pier would light and speak throb neon and dance if it were summertime but from where tonight, dark, it is a prism of black in the blackest part of a night that bends in on itself and its desperate reaching towards day. Because opposite the light is the dark that we need, that we so need, for it’s necessary tempts draw us ceaselessly to the light. For the dark, without which we see nothing for there’d be nothing to see.
And that is Solstice. Sun far away in the southern sky, shadows dark and long, always attached to our feet. Never outrun, but dissipating, dissolving as delusion does with the light, with each and every day.
In the morning before Walsh came I sat on the floor of my old room and went through journals as far back as fourth grade. One opened onto my lap as if my soul sparked its life just for me. A paper fell out with handwritten benedictions from an old girlfriend, and the front of the moleskin were her well wishes. The last time I saw her she was taking the hand of the man I had just spent six years of my life with…They are married now with a child. I haven’t once back to that town…the farm where we lived potluck dinners with hippie friends, vegetable gardens tall as our heads, winters around woodstove fires, falls with guitar artists and pines, cornfield bonfires and late night river bath naked swims. A man that haunted me with my own voice because poltergeist art works like that. I sat on the floor of my old room and cried the hot cry that only comes with memories and smiles.
Solstice, this is Solstice, too. Greif, unnamed, the dense cleanse of our year. It happens, has happened this week to us, each and every one. Or are you so fraught you’re too numb?
Walsh drove us to Snow Hill to see the Runoff play. She has finally left Chestertown. An era passed. These boys from there, where I for so long have not been able to go. There is always a return, for the darkness, its job is to take us back. And so we dance, we dance in the dark, it is what life’s taught us to do. How I’ve danced…The one time, at Howards….the one time, at Ben’s farm…the one time, at Truslow, that once at Andy’s, that other time at Andy’s, all those times at Andy’s, or out at Sam’s, on Anngar, at the River, at the Prince….How well I know these men, these brothers of mine, Sam who a million different nights under the same roof we’ve slept, the meals fed the laughter shared, to know a place you know its trees, its limbs, its outlands and limits, the places you run to hide, mouth of spit from its sky of rain and rivers of wash that run in creeks and tides and streams…how I know you, home, how I know you boys, how I know me…
They played I Know You Rider second to last and how I danced. I thought of these three weeks back home, of my family, friends, my heart and soul, my mom and dad. Sure as I knew the muscles of my own two arms, my own feet, it all came back to me as it always does…Of ourselves we never really leave. All of who I am based on who I was, and based on this: all of who yet I am still to be.
And this, this is Solstice. The most itty spark, visible only, ever, in the darkest point of dark. That newborn, barely there seed.
Enter winter, welcome. Sacred wisdom, welcome. Blessings. Time of renewal, rejuvenation, in restful yearn towards what still, of course, is yet to come. What has come to past which grows us on. Towards what will certainly be.