Monday, September 24, 2007

End of the Summer (Dar Williams)

As I've mentioned before, I've been on the Dar Williams discussion list for over a decade now... and one of the many cool traditions members have initiated (and perpetuated) are sending End of the Summer and February (tying in to her songs of the same title) cards (at the appropriate season) for whoever wishes to sign up - the greetings can be homemade or store-bought, and are imbued with various photos, poetry and/or quotes relating to these most transitional times, in whatever form...

The first year I participated in EOTS (1999), my daughter S was in her senior year of high school and just getting ready to go away to college... so the song, and sentiment, struck entirely too close to home - I didn't think I'd take it as hard as I did but I'd find myself, at the least provocation, bursting into tears... at the grocery store, on the soccer field, at work... whenever anyone would ask me what her plans were...

My "card" was an 8 1/2" x 11" collage of various images and phrases conjured by Dar's stunning lyrics, with the below-poem in the center - I still cry when I hear the song... and I still engage in the annual ritual of honoring the passing from summer to autumn, even if the segue here in South Florida is mostly metaphorical...

Brushing out our daughter’s brown
silken hair before the mirror
I see the grey gleaming on my head,
the silver-haired servant behind her. Why is it
just as we begin to go
they begin to arrive, the fold in my neck
clarifying as the fine bones of her
hips sharpen? As my skin shows
its dry pitting, she opens like a moist
precise flower on the tip of a cactus;
as my last chances to bear a child
are falling through my body, the duds among them,
her full purse of eggs, round and
firm as hard-boiled yolks, is about
to snap its clasp. I brush her tangled
fragrant hair at bedtime. It’s an old
story—the oldest we have on our planet—
the story of replacement.

QUOTE: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference." ~ The Serenity Prayer


  1. Rows and floes of angel hair
    And ice cream castles in the air
    And feather canyons evrywhere
    Ive looked at clouds that way

    But now they only block the sun
    They rain and snow on evryone
    So many things I would have done
    But clouds got in my way
    Ive looked at clouds from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    Its cloud illusions I recall
    I really dont know clouds at all

    Moons and junes and ferris wheels
    The dizzy dancing way you feel
    As evry fairy tale comes real
    Ive looked at love that way

    But now its just another show
    You leave em laughing when you go
    And if you care, dont let them know
    Dont give yourself away

    Ive looked at love from both sides now
    From give and take, and still somehow
    Its loves illusions I recall
    I really dont know love at all

    Tears and fears and feeling proud
    To say I love you right out loud
    Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
    Ive looked at life that way

    But now old friends are acting strange
    They shake their heads, they say Ive changed
    Well somethings lost, but somethings gained
    In living evry day

    Ive looked at life from both sides now
    From win and lose and still somehow
    Its lifes illusions I recall
    I really dont know life at all
    Ive looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    Its lifes illusions I recall
    I really dont know life at all

  2. Hey, sharon -

    My *other* personal life anthem - been there, done that (my first week of blogging... :-)

    Check out today's post, which I just uploaded - can't wait!

    Thanks for the audio files you sent - I haven't been able to open them because I still haven't transferred my iPod to iTunes, which looks to be a tricky business (wish me luck)...

    I should be getting my EOTS cards out in the next few days - you may, of course, expect one... <3