It’s 1:04 a.m. Sunday. Missed adventures and loss of innocence on my mind. I write “proximity to greatness” and “so near to promise” in my journal, thinking about me at 16 when I listened to this album every night, over and over. I only owned one album… Any Day Now by Joan Baez.
Here I am, 40 years later, nursing regret, fighting off longing. The same thing on my plate, the same plate even. I miss that promise—that restless, hungry feeling. At 16, with mom and dad sleeping in the next room, my sister gone to an early escape marriage. I wanted my own pairing-off to save me.
Strange irony of nature, this worry-waking, leaving me here to ponder my whole life just as I face a dwindling future. The pause…the pause to what? Evaluate, regret… yearn!
Lying here with GERD, unable to sleep either from hormones or acid reflux or longing for more—more future, more wishes, for believing the unexpected can still happen and it wouldn’t mean someone’s death. And what about security? I am more secure than I have ever been in my house, my life, and it feels like early death, like turning in for the night, ready for sleep that as a child might have seemed forever, and it will be.
It was Johnny Dep’s island that made me envious tonight, made me feel hopeless to find my own safe harbor with my family. The loss of younger children is immense.
Forty years ago I lay awake too, and I am still lonely as a school girl, still waiting for my real life to begin. I am really sad for that girl. She suffered so—at their hands and more. And she was so relentlessly hopeful that it was just a matter of time until her life began and all the past would be a dream.
But I’m still here.
If I am imprisoned, what is my crime? It’s self-imposed exile, but what do I imagine as my sentence? How long? Why hide? I fear cages more than I can imagine or admit. Swine flu, West Nile Virus, cancer, aging, death. Can I outwit it by hiding?
It’s 1:04 a.m. Sunday, and on one more morning I lie awake and I am 16 and 56 at once. I want to go to Nova Scotia. I want to see the ocean in every direction. I want to be at the farthest point east of here. I want to be overwhelmed and in unfamiliar territory. Am I merely another girl looking to join the circus when it comes to town, the more exotic the better?
Want to hear more of the album? It’s awesome. It’s also hopelessly morose and romantic. Joan Baez was my (pretend) loving big sister. Enjoy…
Here’s one that’s not on the album but is one of my favorites…
One more not on the album
One Too Many Mornings
Down the street the dogs are barkin’
And the day is a-gettin’ dark.
As the night comes in a-fallin’,
The dogs ‘ll lose their bark.
An’ the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind,
For I’m one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind.
From the crossroads of my doorstep,
My eyes they start to fade,
As I turn my head back to the room
Where my love and I have laid.
An’ I gaze back to the street,
The sidewalk and the sign,
And I’m one too many mornings
An’ a thousand miles behind.
It’s a restless hungry feeling
That don’t mean no one no good,
When ev’rything I’m a-sayin’
You can say it just as good.
You’re right from your side,
I’m right from mine.
We’re both just one too many mornings
An’ a thousand miles behind.
Copyright ©1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music