Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sad Truths; Lost Opportunity

There's nothing sadder than realizing their are windows of influence into our children's lives, and if those windows are missed, it the opportunity to make a difference slips by unnoticed,(..."like old, unwanted memories...") then we may have lost forever the way into that room of their heart. That particular shaft of sunlight may never illuminate the Childs soul. Darkness may remain in that little recess of his being. Then we face regretting forever our procrastination, the business of life that kept us focused on the mundane rather than the eternal.

I feel this way today. Regretful over something I thought I had all the time in the world for. How could I not have realized? This meant so much to me, yet I failed to pass the torch. Is it really too late?

The missed JOY in question here is the soulful, mellow, comforting music of James Taylor. I have a new DVD. James Taylor Live at the Beacon Theater. I love it. It makes me sing. Literally. In front of my children's friends. While on the treadmill. It's. That. Good.

And afterwards, in that glow zone that happens after a particularly spiritual experience, as I may have... ahem, verbally gushed just a little teeny bit, Josh, who will be 13 in two short days, said, (and I am still reeling!) "Ya, he has a good voice, but he's not my thing. I don't really like his style".

How could I have let this happen? How did I not see this coming? Why???!

James Taylor has been probably my all time favorite artist since I was not too much older than Josh. Well, OK, I was 16, it was 1977 and I was making my first purchase from Columbia Records, the mail in record club. Buy 3 albums (that would be uh, vinyl...LP's) over the course of the next two years and get 12 FREE selections. Wow! I still can't believe the magic of that offer.
My purchases till this time had been mostly of the K-Tel variety. Juke Box Jive, and Music Machine. Anyone else remember those? Where else could you get Elton John, Kenny Rogers, and Marvin Gaye all on the same disc? The "20 Original Hits" list on each of these amazing albums sounds like kind of a schizo iPod play list of somebody's Grandma. (Uh, that would be,uh....me).
But I digress. So back to summer of '77, all my friends are listening to heavy metal or hard rock and I am perusing the Columbia Records mail out ad, because finally, it is within my grasp to be cool. All I have to do is lick 12 of these nasty tasting little stamps, stick them on the enclosed application form, in the proper little pre-measured squares, slap a stamp on it, wait 4 to 6 weeks and BLAM!...just like that, baby, I'm cool!
But what to pick?? How cool can I be if I don't even recognize most of the bands? Oh no! I'll forever be stuck in the endless spinning of my little portable record player (no, I didn't have a "turn table" like my big brothers cool friends) listening to great selections like Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr's "You Don't Have to be a Star Baby (To Be In My Show)". No offense guys, wonderful human beings? Sure. Cool? Uh...No.

But then it happened. I found one that I was sure would elevate my cool quotient. "JT" Wow! Jethro Tull! Now that would be cool! This was happenin'! Lick. Stick. Slap. Wait; wait; wait.....wait. Nothing like 70's technology.
It arrived. JT. James Taylor?? Who?
I gave it a spin. His rich, intimate voice drew me in, and has had powers to soothe and connect with me to this day.

But somehow along the way, when it was most important, when those little musical taste cells were multiplying like cookie crumbs on the carpet, I missed planting this amazing, glorious seed into the little garden of my Middle Child's brain. Or opening that window and letting in that brilliant shaft of light to flood over his spirit, or....* insert your own metaphor here*.
I refuse to give in to despair though. I firmly believe there is always hope. As I checked out James' (you don't mind if I call him that, do you?) new album my 11 year old just walked in and said, "Oh, he has a very professional website".
"All we need is "A Little More Time With You", James. .... la la, la la....Sorry Jethro.

2 comments:

Karyn/Mom said...

Who can NOT love James Taylor? I don't care WHAT he sings - it's all wonderful.

Don't worry about Josh, he's at that age that he is "supposed" to have a "style" of music that he listens to - sooner than you want, he'll grow up and find that there is joy in almost genres of music.

Maybe you should wait until Josh is asleep, then play some of James in his room - you know, subliminally indoctrinate him. :)

I've been looking for an album by Ben Taylor, son of James and Carly Simon. I saw/heard him on a biography program - he sounds just like his dad. How can he not be great, with parents like his?

We have a Video (VHS) of JT recording in his barn - very laid back and wonderful. We Love to stick it in and listen to/watch it - including the interviews.

Here's another great that you should check out if you don't already know him - Keith Green. Sorry, he's a "Christian" artist, but super talented and inspiring.

And don't forget John Denver - his music makes me feel like James Taylor's plus it transports me to that time in my life when anything was possible.

arlene said...

Exactly. Who could NOT love James!!???

I didn't know he had a son who sang, but Carly is another of my all time faves. "Mocking Bird" with the two of them is the epitomy of perfection. Love it!

I like Keith Green too, but nowhere near James.
John Denver is great radio music but I never could get past the naked gardening thing. hehehe Don't know why. I've always wanted to be a hippy so that shouldn't bother me.


Another voice that just takes me to a beautiful place is Mac Powell of Third Day. Haunting, strong, smooth. Amazing.

Music is so powerful. I'm so blessed all my boys love making it.