Friday, December 5, 2008


December 8, 1980. I am riding home from a school event with my father. It is dark and late. The radio is full of your death. The world grieves over the loss.

My father does not seem too upset. Not surprising. My parents only like country music. He fiddles with the knobs, trying to find the Laker game.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night…

I am eighteen years old and I am hanging out in a jazz club listening to a band put the finishing touches on a killer version of Norwegian Wood. I will spend several days in the coming weeks playing the song over and over again on the piano, painstakingly working out the arrangement for my own band. I love the melody. There is something exotic about the song.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

So world-weary. I know now. Yesterdays haunt us like ghosts, and in the end, I now believe yesterday tells us the truth of our lives. The past tells us what the present is all about, and dictates what the future holds. It is the river—everywhere at once.

I believe in yesterday…

The dark trees fly by the car window. Christmas is in the air. I am unhappy, depressed. I am uncertain of the future, of what my life might hold. I feel the weight of the world, false hopes, dreams that will not fly.

So this is Christmas…another year over, and a new one just begun…

Sometimes it seems like all the great voices have been stilled. You were younger than I am now when you died on that Monday.

You were only waiting for this moment to arise…

Arise. I think of a phoenix rising from ashes. I did not see the Dakota on my trip to New York. I should have made the pilgrimage.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I am not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.

Sometimes the light goes away too soon and we must learn to live on in darkness. Paul has not been as good without you. Neither have we.

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