03 September 2010

Seven Views of Mount Gumbo

Connect: Unit on. Signal acquired. Broadcast NOW:

Today my favorite local radio station, WTMD, did a continuous broadcast of the "Top 100 Beatles Songs as selected by Rolling Stone Magazine".  They literally took the Rolling Stone list and played them all.  The number 2 song was "I Want To Hold Your Hand".  Wee Lass and I heard it on the way to dinner.  Rather, she heard a version of it.  The part where they sing 'I can't hide'?  She said to me "Daddy, is he saying hyena?".  I am amused.

At the bookstore tonight after dinner, we were sitting on the floor in the art section, looking through books on artists. Why? Because my lively daughter has already learned about Wassily Kandinsky in her kindergarten art class, and she wanted to see some more of his paintings.  I am amazed.

Later in the photography section, we are again sitting on the floor, paging through a book on Ansel Adams because daddy secretly wishes he had been Ansel Adams.  Wee Lass is fascinated and begins commenting on the photographs.  We both were engrossed and entranced.  She begins to understand why I take my camera so many places.  I am humbled and realize I'll never be Ansel Adams.

It is bedtime, and Her Royal Lightness asks to read some books.  We have two old favorites (well, two for her; "The Little Mermaid" has become a Sprockets guest, and I am Dieter) and a new book: "Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones".  I blaze through the Little Mermaid, settle in with "Wabi Sabi" and really hit the big time with Skippyjon Jones.  I really dig the Skippyjon, and I really, really dig her laughter as we read with the silly accents and clap our way through some of the singing bits.  I am calmed.

Earlier this afternoon, I had occasion to hang upon my bare walls, three framed photographs of mine.  Suddenly, this house of mine changed character, and some of the echoes faded away.  Standing there in the afternoon light, adjusting the prints to level, I held my breath with the realization that maybe, just maybe...this place is becoming a home.  I was soothed.

Bouncing around on the digital ocean tonight, I had occasion to laugh, cry, smile and testify.  Truly a grounding, humbling and pleasing experience.  I was slightly overwhelmed at the number of stories that have come to intersect with mine, and I really felt the need to jump in the car and go visit some of the people who have come to enhance my life.  I was again humbled.

Sitting down to write, a strange sensation washed over me.  Part anxiety, part exhilaration, at the realization of just how important to me words and music and pictures have become to my, to my life.  Today I discovered that Wee Lass finds it hilarious when I sing Beatles songs in a voice like that of Eric Cartman.  Today I discovered that I like it when she laughs at me.  Today, side by side with my daughter and reading books...that was a good day.  Read, sing, write: this is a good life.


  1. Five and seven... go for it. All the others. They are eternal.

  2. If I can get just 3 things a day I am happy. Congrats.

  3. I loved exploring bookstores with Jamie when she was little. Thanks for the memories!

  4. beatles a la cartman. now THAT is brilliant.

  5. welcome home....

    and we don't need another ansel adams....where is the Gumbo book? lulu.com, dude.....

  6. I love Skippyjon! I've bought I think all of them now, and can't wait for the next ones to come out. Reading them out loud to the kids is one of the most fun things we've done together, because they always join in. They are glued to me when Skippyjon is in session.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...