Building a diary for my son in these interesting times was a fundamental excuse and motivator for this blog. At 2:55 Eastern Standard Time today, he turned 3 years old, and he is a holy terror of darling and domineering great affections. I would like him to know things early, and given promising indications, someday soon he will read.
Boys from humble means can reach their dreams, if they but reach smart and humble, decided, bold and far. I would like to tell him there's nothing stopping him, but in truth there are many things, prejudices and protections aplenty. Nonetheless, bequeathed no rights or pedigree, his father drove among other things at 26 a bank CEO's Jaguar V-12 with the top down to watch princes play polo at Windsor, to know an Italian contessa barefoot by way of Scotland, to have dinner with King Juan Carlos discussing TV on airplanes, to meet artists, and to predict avalanches in Switzerland. There are choices and terms for every decision, luck plays a large part, and you can't let the fine print freeze you. You don't have to leverage every opportunity into stunning riches. I sure didn't, and see no reason to sweat it. Finding your best self is the important thing, and if you follow your instincts, have some fun, and try to do some good on your path, son, you will do me proud.
Brian Eno and John Cale captured the feel of footloose times in "One Word," a song from a one-off, stream-of-consciousness album they released back then called "Wrong Way Up." Great album. You could tell they were bumming around doing interesting things, then got together, wrote about it and jumbled them up into their considerably pooled musical talents. I listened to them while traversing Europa, and the lyrics are observational, evocative, and distant. They convey the art of travel, and bring back scenes from intensely concentrated social interactions which were often above my head, but remain indelibly imprinted in memory. Back then, I thought I'd be back the next summer, working for the interests of money in London, or Copenhagen, or Geneva. Like the song says, it is miles away.
At the moment, fast times consist of driving to a park with detritus on the floor and spare nappies in the boot, and I wouldn't trade my blessed life with Lord Wife and Lord Baby for anything. For his bigger, formal birthday party this Sunday, I am buying us a remote-control plane, and we will terrorize park-goers while we learn together. For our instigations and future adventures, here are lyrics from former flighty times:
Night-time is falling on the Louvre.
It's been a lazy afternoon.
We walk to the house, the air is clear,
The water's still moving in the pool.
You say One word, the same sound.
It makes the world go 'round.
One word; we fight. You'll see
We're in the same place,
but not the same spin.
If it fades away, let it all fade away.
We were miles away, we were miles away,
We were miles and miles away.
Remember this oil by Augustus John?
These are the ones I found in Rome.
There are few things I keep for long.
When does your plane leave for Cologne?
I recall (One word) the train I saw;
People danced, that's all it took
again, to turn them around.
One world, a strange world
we're in (no sound). We'll find
The same things, the same things
are everywhere around.
Never mind...you'll see,
with time, with time
we'll dance again, we'll dance again.
If it all fades away, let it all fade dancing away.
All the sounds I heard (One word),
on a summer night (I found),
and the quiet words are all it took
which we exchanged. I felt (to turn around);
she was pulling back (she watched).
to emphasize. (He sighs.)
I was falling (He waits)
into Mona Lisa's eyes (a touch of her eyes).
And she turned, and then
she turned, she turns away,
she was far away. She won't let him
(she was miles away) touch her any more today.
She was miles away.
She was so many miles away.