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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Beat


Got about another week to go on the west fence. Tired. Glad it's getting done. You can see the field yellowing behind me as I head in. Not like it used to be, me neither. There used to be implements parked in this field --hay mowers, skiploaders, drags, scrapers, John Deere child-impalers-- but no more. Up to us old guys and our Husqvarnas now.

We see each other, across maybe a quarter mile of combustible grass, manage a wave --but we're tired and trying to maintain the rhythm of the thing. Forty years ago, the rhythm rang in machines that baled the growth of these fields. And the town itself was small enough to be baled by any single renegade implement. Never happened, or I don't recall, thing is: what allowed us to work so hard those 40 years was the promise we would someday forget how hard it was --otherwise I doubt we could have done it. And yet...

And yet, even if I'm alone and all the other boys get called into supper, that old echo clarifies itself. I appreciate all great music. On this blog, I've posted opera, orchestra, folk, country & western and musical theater but when I'm laboring amid the labor of others --even when they've gone in and I've got a little pep left, the rhythm, the tune that runs through my mind is this:

It was recorded when I was in my mid-twenties --barely beginning the journey-- a youth. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "Youth is wholly experimental."  I'd like to also believe youth is primarily a social experience in pursuit of something positive that remains when youth is gone. So I work on my own to this rhythm --on many levels too tired to think about. I am indebted to Doobie Brothers. 

26 comments:

  1. A very admirable execution of a formidable task. I appreciate your spirit and determination - and the warm echos of the Doobie Brothers era. I like the Normaphoto.

    "John Deere child-impalers".....funny!

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    1. Jon, for a sense of harmony and sanity in a troubled time, we all owe a debt to the Doobies. I guess that's what music is about.

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  2. I really would not envy you your task, and a good job you are making of it. I hope the body lasts the course. Sorry to be obtuse, but I cannot find a meaning for your word 'husqvarna', other than references to commercial companies.

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    1. Husqvarna Group in Sweden is, as you found, a large producer of power garden equipment --including my lawn mower.

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  3. Great music to work along with.

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    1. I only get tired of the work part.

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  4. Geo, I have not listened to that Dobbie Brothers song in a long time but I have always loved it ...it's a great song!
    Keep carrying on and working to the beat of the music as you work to completing your task on the land ...soon you shall be done and then you shall rest!

    Wishing you a good day.
    Smiles

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    1. Encouragement appreciated, and I hear we may get rain tonight!

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  5. Ah, the Dooby Brothers... I thought I remembered listening to them while building a soap box derby car when I was 12 or 13, but that was Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" that I remembered. But I do remember them in high school and "Traveling Man" has kind of been my life's story. That grass looks dry... better not take a smoking break!

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    1. A lot of excellent happy music came out of that period --good thing, too. And yes, the fields are definitely non-smoking zones.

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  6. I wish I could be there to help you, Mr. Geo! I used to be fairly handy with an "idiot" stick for some reason. Thanks for the Doobie Bros flashback. I'll be humming that tune while tending to my own chores today.

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    1. Those sticks are great for building golfing strength.

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  7. One purpose is a fire break, yes? I wouldn't want to be around a stand of dry eucalyptus that ignited.
    I liked the Doobie's well enough, and that was a good song. Interestingly, they were favored in their early days by the Hell's Angels, some chapter in NoCal sponsored a couple gigs for them.

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    1. Sometimes I wonder how the planet produced so much flora so eager to combine with oxygen.

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  8. This is a good song. It is important to get into a rhythm. The work goes faster and you do not feel as tired.

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    1. I keep telling myself work isn't so hard with the tune in my head, Emma. I hope you're right.

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  9. Music is a must when a hard slog's on the menu - and The Doobs isn't a bad earworm to help things along!

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    1. Many hard slogs to life. Good thing there's plenty of music.

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  10. I too go back to music of the days of yore; I don’t know if it’s always a good idea, it makes me feel homesick for no known country when I should look to today. It’s just that today is such an effort, the past was so much easier.

    Child impalers? Can I borrow one?

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    1. Saudade, perhaps --Portuguese word. I feel it too. Don't know if child-impalers exist; that's just what we call farm machines we can't identify.

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  11. Work does go easier with music - ask any lady of a certain age who took aerobics classes in the 80's :)

    You are getting a lot done. Are your hands numb yet from the chainsaw?

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    1. Jenny, I gardened over 30 years and it has taken 6 years of retirement to regain sensitivity in my hands. But yes, after two weeks of using the chainsaw, I feel that old numbness return a little, then recede. Retirement is good!

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  12. Dear Geo., you sound a bit tired, working so much.
    To elevate your spirits, here comes a quote by Hans Christian Andersen (can only translate): "Have you lived(spent your sommer well? Then winter will be good to you." Till winter it is still a long, long road - I'll sing with The Monkeys (not my favourite band normally): "Now I'm a Believer..."

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    1. Dear Brigitta, yes, I am tired but making progress. Andersen quote is quite apropos, especially as I cut the more mischievous branches into firewood for next year. Monkees were full of mischief too, and left many lively, gentle tunes in our heads.

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  13. Yes, we all get older. But I choose to believe that youth never truly leaves us.

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    1. Agreed! It's there. It's very confused sometimes but then, it always was.

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