Saturday, June 12, 2010

I've Given My Music

When I fall in love with you I let you in. You get to dance on my head. I will not complain. I will let you take the lead, though I will keep my bounds. My last lover talked me into doing things musical and otherwise that I never would do on my own. Ultimately she took that as a bad sign, as a sign I would change under long term conditions and refuse to do the things I did while we were just partners. She never did get it that I was already married to her in my heart. She flat refused to believe that. Maybe she was right. I see her regularly as she travels down to tend her property here (she lives as a Canadian now) and still feel that way. Nothing fundamental has changed for me in our relationship though we are no longer together. I worked hard for that to be okay.

She got me to speak in church on the topic of women. I was one of three men she chose to do this. I spoke about my mother who simply is the most remarkable woman I have ever known, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Cum Laude while being a single mom in the late forties. She was valedictorian at Cal Berkeley and shared the stage with Harry Truman because Cal was an amazing school in those years with the returning WWII boys. She turned down a career in the movies in order to go to school and then she became a high school teacher. At mid life she wrote a novel. Then she became a Unity minister. She wrote two more books of a spiritual nature. Finally she retired as a minister emeritus and received accolades from Unity for her lifetime service. I won’t go into that, except to say that she changed some fundamental stuff in her time there.

My last lover also got me to solo on a Judy Collins number. I would never have done either of these things without her suggestion.

I've Given My Music

You stand on my head,
then dance a bit. I don't dare
complain. You have me
where you've wanted me
for longer than this springtime,
longer than its moon.
In fact I've given
my music into your care,
no way but forward.

June 5, 2009 1:08 PM


  1. You have lived such a rich and complicated life, Christopher, it amazes me. The ups and downs, the highs and lows are there in your writing revealed with great poignancy. Your mother's story too, is amazing. It must have been hard to live up to, and without a father?


  2. I am drawn to this part..that your relationship with you lover has not fundamentally changed and that you worked hard to be okay with that...which is kind of a standstill in some ways, yet at the end of the poem, there is no way but forward. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. She left you with much of her I think.

  3. Elisabeth, Mom separated from my father when I was two and remarried when I was nearly six. I was raised for the rest of my childhood by a good man, but he was not at all of my temperament. They were stone broke. We were gypsies through my childhood, living in several places, following their attempts to make a place for us, an effort that led us from the Bay Area through Midland, Texas and Los Angeles to a farm town in the valley near Stocton, through Santa Cruz on the California coast, finally to settle for a time in Santa Clara, a short commute from the area now known as Silicon Valley. My experiences growing up were similar to those of "Army brats", children of career military fathers and mothers.

    Annie, yes moving on has been required and I have done it. I have begun to suspect I will not have another partner in the rest of my life. This happened to my Mother. When she and her last husband divorced, she found her way in the world as a working minister and then retired. In all those years, after her two long term marriages of eighteen years and fifteen years, she never found another suitable partner. She looked.

    I partnered with my wife in 1972. We married in 1975. We divorced in 1995. Then I had a clandestine lover from 1999 to 2001, and my last lover from 2001 to 2006. I have been looking but not so hard as to seriously deflect my life path. So after four years without a partner, and with the life changes of being in my mid sixties, I do not think I have that much hope for another partner. I have become too much a health liability and my finances and earning capacity too are not suitable.

  4. Christopher, I'm sorry. Do people look at these things, health and finances, to determine a lover? If so, it would be no lover I would ever choose.

    I look to my now lover, my new life partner, my best friend, and he would have pretty much said the same as you, and yet - here he and I are, driving an old ford truck along dirt roads, debating colour, composition, philosophy and the nature of tea cups. Great things can happen at any time.

    I dare say you love very well. You allow her to stand on your head and dance a bit. In fact, I think you rather enjoyed it.

    As long as we live, we may love.

    But even as you live alone, you love large.

    I'll wish you a mad one, one who cares not for health or finances, but instead, for things that matter.


  5. Ummm. Wish for a relatively rich one too so that while money does not matter it really doesn't matter. There has to be enough or the fucking money simply does matter the same as lack of air or food or water matters. For one, health expenses rise dramatically in older ages. That happened to me overnight last year.

    I will have to sell my house to live if I am forced to stop working because I cannot support the house without a living wage. This is simply true. I will have to divest of most things I have and live very differently. I really don't have enough money if I don't work and my health is making that much harder now.

    Wait until you are at this stage of life before you judge the lovers who are in it and who consider money carefully. I write this with a smile, though, not a frown. I didn't worry at your age either. Getting and keeping a job was not the problem it is now. Oddly, I am far less anxious about it all than I was then, but the problems are far more real now. They are no longer opportunities. I don't have the energy, will no longer have the energy. I am in the last stages of my life, with only 20 years or less to go and this loss of capacity in the world is partly what being elderly is about.

    I have no wish to pretend to youth that is not mine. I look really good, but inside I am rusting at a good clip.

  6. And so we will all die poor. Who the fark cares about the debt? Truly. I'm forty. I've got faulty parts and I'm in love with a man who is fifty-five and he has faulty parts. We're both dirt poor. I think we found one another because we are of the sort to not put the money thing before all else. If we did, we'd both be single and still poor and essentially, dying. It will get worse. Yes. It will get worse for all of us. But before love the consideration of money! Oh, Christopher, down with that! Love love love, live and love, and die later.

    (I think I'd best off to sleep, eh?)


  7. I can only say, sweetheart, that's how I felt in my forties. It is even how I felt in my fifties.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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