Sunday, August 23, 2015

Your guess is as good as mine

If I were an art historian or a music historian or a historian of "The Sixties" or a connoisseur of love and romance and beautiful, young girls and of an era which was better than these times, I could write something meaningful coming or going from at least one hundred different directions about the song, "Twelve-thirty," by The Mamas and the Papas, and link it to this ubiquitous but symbolic photograph. But, since I am none of these beings, nor none of these things, nor wish to be, I will let it go and allow you to use your imagination to reflect upon what I might have written had my mood been only slightly different from what it is. Maybe, even to ponder what you might have missed and how your life might be affected because I wrote nothing instead of something. No, strike that. I am becoming too obscure, and the question, "what if?", too often is asked and usually cannot be answered. The photograph, incidentally, is one of the "canyons" I have been wandering in and about recently. Between light rain outside, thick glass creating distortion and reflection, and the general nature of the photographic limitations of a Blackberry, the image is severely lacking in quality, but good enough to serve the purposes of an "accidental illustrator" such as myself. Think of watching from this window in the morning and seeing the foot-traffic of hundreds on their way to work.
Some of the lyrics
from "Twelve-thirty"
by John Phillips
Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walkin'
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talkin'
At first so strange to feel so friendly
To say "Good mornin'" and really mean it
To feel these changes happenin' in me
But not to notice till I feel it ....

Words spoken by Professor Thomas Dare
in the novel, "I, Ripper"
by Stephen Hunter -- 2015:

"And then there are the Germans. Do you know, they form words by just sticking them together, so that their word for 'Gatling gun' literally translates into 'mechanicaldeviceshootingwithoutcockingrifle?' The words get longer still. No word is too long for a German because it's quite impossible to bore a German. You cannot entertain a Norwegian, you cannot bore a German, and you cannot educate an American or a chimpanzee."

Three moments, three moods, three messages

I am lazy and distracted, so I will not write much, but, instead, post three songs. I have posted "Twelve-thirty" before .... and, most probably, will do so again. It is special. I sometimes mention there are a few songs for which I can remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with the first time I heard them. The more I think about it, the more I believe there are quite a number of songs which belong in this circle of music.

Anyway, such is the case with the one above. It is melodically beautiful and lyrically poetic; it is the type of piece which has led me to believe most "significant" poetry of the last half-century is to be found in song lyrics.

The second song -- "Drift Away" -- is one I like a great deal and is very symbolic to me. I was not aware that The Rolling Stones had a version of it until I ran across it recently while "drifting" along in esoteric time and ethereal space ..... or something like that ....

The third song -- "Can't Help Falling in Love" -- is another I have posted previously. It is sort of dedicated to a young lady from my past whose birthday came and went a few days ago. I still think of her often .... and I miss her .... and I am glad we were together for a few months. She greatly enjoyed this rendition of this song performed by Andrea Bocelli and Katharine McPhee. I do not even have to close my eyes to see her singing along with it while we listened to it. The vision of her is reality for me still, and will be always.

Unfortunately and unlike the song, some expectations of love are not meant to be .... I think we all know that, do we not ?? No matter .... hopefully, you will like at least one of these songs .... after all, there is one for (melancholy) dreamers, one for (melancholy) rockers and one for (melancholy) lovers, and surely you fall into at least one of those (melancholy) categories .... do you not ??

You are blessed or cursed by the times into which you are born, I absolutely believe, in more ways than most ever realize.


ANITA said...

Goodmorning Fram!

Good post!

Its sometimes good with memoeries .A beautiful love came to your life..Made you very happy.No its gone .Like the most things in life.It goes up and down.The only one that can help you..Is yourself..Keep the sacred memories in your heart.Think of the good times when you are down.Do not dwell with what it could be.Life is to short.Most of the time you should be happy!
Love the music!Bocelli and Catherine sings the Falligin love!Neat

You have right.You can not amuse a norwegian..It has to be a dirty joke about the neighbour..That sometimes we like hah

I wonder what "canyon" that photo is?Did you have a good time?

I hope soo

I leave you now with a song that struck me reading your post.Pale blue eyes with Lou Reed

Wish you a great sunday my friend in America.May peace and happiness follow your road


PhilipH said...

Oh what a heart-felt piece Fram. You touch on so many things that resonate with me, especially the 'lost love' part of you post.

The year of our birth is pure chance of course. How could it be anything else. And I'm quite happy with my 'hello world' entrance. The dawn of 1935 was a time that was not easy in many ways, just four years before a terrible war, but in many ways I'm glad I wasn't about to be born today. Too much turmoil world wide. Too many being born and increasing an already over-crowded world.

Reading your article has drawn me into a nostalgic mood, mainly to do with your music choices, especially the Mama & Poppas song. I so adored that short-lived group of four in perfect harmony. Especially the lovely Mama Cass Elliot. I loved her 'mumsy' persona and was absolutely devastated when her short life came to an abrupt end. Such a terrible piece of news which still hurts after almost 40 short years.

Of course almost everybody must have loved and enjoyed California Dreaming, Monday Monday, Dream a Little Dream and others.

If any band epitomised the 1960s it was the Mamas and Poppas. More so than The Beatles in my opinion.

I liked the Andrea song too, ballads like this are my favourites. I am NOT a fan or follower of Mr. Jagger and his Stones. Don't know why but I've never liked his stuff; I must be the odd man out in this respect I guess.

Being an 'adult' when leaving school in 1949 my music was almost all to do with the classics of the 40s and 50s. The Great American Songbook and all those who recorded these songs. Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra (the greatest), Frankie Laine, Johnny Ray, all the big bands and loads of female vocalists. These singers, far too many to mention now, all had UNIQUE voices and perfect diction. You could hear every word, hence you ended up remembering every single word, pause, phrase. Not quite the same with many of pop singers nowadays.

If I were ever asked to name my eight favourite songs I doubt I could. Eighty favourites might be possible, just. Billy Eckstine, 'I Apologise' would be up in the top dozen or so, along with Passing Strangers which he sang with Sarah Vaughn, the lovely hard-working Sarah Vaughn, such a gem.

Sorry Fram, must stop rambling like a sleep-walker of the past.
Great post. Great!

Fram Actual said...

I am not certain how most people handle what I will categorize here as "romantic involvements," Anita, but my nature is to remember and, sometimes, to analyze what went right and what went wrong with a relationship. The old "what if" concept. That sounds sort of clinical, I guess, but it falls into the same category of my psychological self as what made me a good reporter. When I want, I can exclude the emotions and examine people, places and things in a purely factual manner. But, the emotion of the relationship can resurface in an instant when something occurs -- like a birthday -- to return it to a prominent position in my thoughts. And, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the circumstances, I have a memory which approaches photographic. So, events become vivid in my mind again.

Anyway, I always end up remembering the "good" elements of a relationship, Anita, so do not worry. I might be unhappy with my current life, but I am content and mostly satisfied with my past -- and, to recall love and lost love serves, for me, as a touch of catharsis.

I thought the paragraph I cited about Germans, Norwegians and Americans was humorous and, maybe, had some truth to it. Remember, I am three-quarters Norwegian and one-quarter German by ancestry, and American only by accident of birth. I am not sure how much blood has to do with this analogy and how much falls into the realm of environment, but it must make a weird mixture out of me.

The "canyon" was in Rochester, Minnesota, and shows a segment of the Mayo Clinic. The facility is not a single building, but a rather vast complex of multiple buildings and is always listed as among the top one, two, three or four medical centers in the entire United States, depending on whose list you are reading.

I will listen to your Lou Reed song this evening. Thank you.

And, mostly, thank you for coming here to spend some time at my blog and writing a comment for me, Anita. You and I have a good history together -- more than six years. Can you believe that?

Fram Actual said...

In the United States, the World War II generation often is referred to as "the greatest generation." It might well be, but I often think of it as the "simplest, easiest generation" -- at least for those people who have a distinct sense of right and wrong, of good and evil. Britain, France, the U.S. and any number of countries were attacked by the Axis nations, and all anyone in the Allied nations had to do was to step forward to do battle against the forces of evil. Can decision-making be any easier?

Compare that with today, Philip, when so many people evidently either are cowards or cannot distinguish between right and wrong / good and evil. How many hundred-thousand have been killed, often brutally, in Syria alone during the past three or four years, for instance, while the so-called "civilized" nations of the world stand idly by on the sidelines content with watching innocents being murdered and the world destroying itself?

I often think I would have preferred to have been a twenty-year-old man in 1941 when people evidently were less confused and not conflicted about who and what they were in a moral sense. In my opinion, the U.S. is in the most desperate straits as a country that it has been since in the late 1850s just before the brink of our own Civil War.

I guess my mood is one of seriousness at the moment, Philip, but I will move on to lighter thoughts now ....

Sliding sideways, I agree with you about The Mamas and the Papas. When Denny Doherty died in 2007, I did a bit of research / "homework" and found the group -- individually and collectively and musically -- to be fascinating. The part which struck me the most (sort of most, anyway) was the tangled web of relationships among its members and especially how Cass Elliot literally begged Doherty to marry her. She promised him greater fame and riches, but he declined, apparently because of her physical appearance.

Much of the music you refer to I am basically familiar with and appreciate. Being an aficionado of films since their advent, old songs which were a part of motion pictures especially drift through my mind. Add to that, my mother always had a radio or television playing when I was a child and she was at home. I can think back and easily still hear "Broken Hearted Melody," sung by one of your favorites, playing on the radio, for instance.

By the way, for whatever reason, with the exception of three or four songs, The Rolling Stones are a long way from my personal "Billboard Top Forty" list. I think I appreciate the band's longevity on stage more than its music.

And, I agree with your remark about voices and diction. In addition to so many rock 'n' roll types apparently more concerned with sounding sexy by slurring words (or whatever), I have a degree of hearing loss (machine-gun ears, I prefer to describe it as), and I am constantly amazed at how often I am hearing words sounding as something other than the actual lyrics. This seems to be a common affliction, and is among the reasons I began looking up actual song lyrics on the internet.

So, there never can be too much rambling, Philip, but there comes a time to say enough for this comment and to save some words for tomorrow and the days yet to arrive. Thank you, for coming here and for writing about your past and your interests. You are a good neighbor to have, Philip.

Kaya said...

Fram, I read your words "You are blessed or cursed by the times into which you are born..." I think that I was blessed not being born during Second World War and even shortly after. That was a difficult time for my former country. I am blessed that I wasn't born in Stalin's time. Can't imagine how I would live my life with fear. I lived through time when Soviet Union collapsed and Lithuania became independent. I was blessed with this because I became totally free in my choices and most important found my new life and my new country.

I think very often about younger generation and worry about what world and environment we leave for this generation. We are so careless about it and very selfish.

You wrote about lost love at the beginning and it touched me deeply. We all went through our lost love and have sad and at the same time nice memories.

I don't know much about the Mamas and the Papas and other songs you mention in your post but I think I understand your nostalgic mood about the past. I hope I really do.

Wish you a nice week, Fram.

Fram Actual said...

That is precisely the point of this sentence, Kaya, and why it was the last sentence of the post.

Can you imagine what life was like for your parents during World War II living in a country occupied by a Nazi regime? Or far beyond that, to have been a European Jew during the time of World War II?

Sadly and pathetically and criminally, Christians and others are experiencing the same murderous cruelty right now in the Middle East and in a number of other nations. History is repeating itself. Mass murder and extermination are taking place, largely due to religious extremism, while "His Majestic Self," Barack Obama, and members of Congress and other world leaders and utterly impotent United Nations officials, who were born into relative safety in a still dangerous world and who live in comparative luxury, twiddle their thumbs and watch civilization imploding.

I could write a million words, most of them adjectives, and nothing would change. Nothing will until political correctness is beaten into nonexistence and reality reaches the lemmings. If September 11, 2001, could not awaken America, I am not sure anything can do it before it is too late.

As for the younger generation, my thought is that each generation has its own chance to make good decisions or bad decisions about the world it lives/exists in, and just as surely that one does it right, sooner or later another will do it badly or poorly or however one wishes to define it. That is the reality of earthly existence. While the cruelty and murderous nature of mankind that plagues us disturbs me greatly, being a student of history provides me with the hindsight knowledge that civilizations are born, flourish and then die, just as individuals do, and it seems unlikely this pattern ever will change.

I think most people find love and lose love a few times during their lifetimes. I think it difficult to believe those who say they have experienced one, true love for an adult lifetime, but anything is possible.

The Mamas and the Papas were just another musical group which came and went during the rock 'n' roll era. The group's song, "Twelve-thirty," is one which is magical to me for a number of reasons, and I simply adore it. There really is little nostalgia to any of these songs in a manner of speaking because they remain as vibrant to me today as they were when I first heard them .... they never age, and neither do I in the sense of enjoying them. Some are more special than others because they include a "romantic involvement," which centers upon a person rather than upon a song.

I will try to have a nice week, Kaya, and I hope you will, as well. And, thank you, for coming to my blog again and for writing your thoughts here. I appreciate your presence and your words.

ANITA said...

Goodmorning again!Thank you for your nice comment at my place!I know you love the fact i was thinking of you making them:))))

You say you are a mix of Norwegian and German.What about me?Mix of Canadian and Bascue?I only live here in Norway.But i like it!
We have much in common about life.But much not too..

Yes we have know each other on the internet for 6 years!
Can you imagine that?In good and bad times!
But should we have met...Good lord!I think it may be ruined!The friendship!Iam not a good person.I mean i am difficult.Go my own way you know..

So its good like it is.

It was the Mayo clinic?You are beeing with your exwife helping her then..Thats a good thing.I hope she is better!

Much hugs !


Fram Actual said...

Good evening, Anita.

Hmmmm .... so you knew I would love the girls, did you? Well, I have to admit that I surveyed your photographs thoroughly, but, remember: I am a gentleman among gentlemen and I did not stare. I enjoy the company of young ladies, for sure, but I only pursue one seriously at any given time and, right now, I do not seem to be pursuing anyone in particular.

I am not sure where the idea originated, but I thought your Spanish blood came from your father and your Norwegian ancestry came from your mother. I do not recall hearing of any Canadian affiliation in the past, but my memory is not perfect. Canadians, however, are like we in the United States. Our ancestors all arrived here from somewhere else, even those of Native American descent if you wish to reach back fifteen thousand years or so. You will have to explain your ancestry sometime.

Yes, six years. You are the only young lady with whom I still have regular communication who goes back that far. The others have gone their own ways. Among men, our Cuban compadre, CiL, and I have been "blogmates" about the same length of time, and he is the only masculine member remaining of the "old guard."

Since my cousin in Stockholm met her untimely death and since it was she who was going to guide me to meet a Norwegian cousin, it is doubtful I will ever make a trip to Norway now.

And, yes, I know you can be difficult and "go your own way." Even over the internet, I have seen your temper more than a few times. Anyway, who can see into the future? I know I cannot ....

Yes, regarding the Mayo Clinic. My former wife No. 2 underwent tests and another examination there last week. The situation is status quo .... there has been no change, which is good news in this instance. She will return for another examination in about four months.

Thank you, Anita, for your return to me and to my blog. It is always enjoyable to have you here.

Smareis said...

Olá Fram!
Gostei muito da sua postagem. Achei a imagem muito bonita. Parece-me que é uma bela cidade.
Todos nós temos música que fazem parte de alguns momentos especiais de nossas vidas. As três músicas são excelente. Grande dueto Katharine McPhee & Andrea Bocelli - Can't Help Falling In Love.
Essa versão de Can't Help Falling In Love é maravilhosa, de uma delicadeza que toca na alma.
É muito difícil evitar um sentimento de paixão Fram. Essa música traduz muito bem tudo isso. Parece que foi escrita para os corações apaixonados. Aqueles que se amam e são separados podem viver sua dor, mas isso não é desespero: eles sabem que o amor existe.
Uma grande homenagem a essa jovem senhora o que você escreveu no teu post, imagine como ela ficaria feliz em te ler. Saber que você ainda pensa muito nela.
Tem uma frase do Martinho Lutero que aprecio bastante: “Os que amam profundamente, jamais envelhecem; podem morrer de velhice, mas morrem jovens. O amor é a imagem de Deus, mas não uma imagem da vida. É isto sim, a verdadeira essência de toda a natureza divina, que fulga em bondade.”.
Infelizmente o amor é assim... Uns relacionamentos dão certo, e outros não.
Não sei se sou abençoada, pela época que nasci mais posso dizer que a vida já me deu muitas alegrias.
Desejo uma excelente quinta-feira, e ótimo fim de semana!
Até breve Fram!

P.S- Mudando de assunto, sobre minha postagem no blog a respeito da segurança, assaltos e tudo mais... Não se preocupe Fram eu me sinto segura onde morro. Quando se mora muitos anos em um bairro a gente passa a fazer parte dele. O pior que os bandidos vêm de outros bairros para fazer seus assaltos... O Brasil é um País de pessoas maravilhosa, solidária, batalhadores. O que falta é bons governantes... As leis aqui não funcionam por isso os bandidos fazem o que querem nas ruas. O que falta é um presidente de punho firme para mudar as leis que são fracas demais para bandidos. A presidente vai cair antes de terminar o mandato, se ela não esclarecer a roubalheira que esta acontecendo. Em Brasília a câmara esta fervendo...
Então Fram esta tudo bem por aqui, não se preoculpe.
Obrigada pelas palavras lá no blog.
Até mais Fram!

Fram Actual said...

Rochester is a city of medical renown. It is not unusual to find the rich and the famous there seeking medical treatment at the Mayo Clinic. I have found the Mayo Clinic to be unlike any other medical facility I have been at in many ways. I would describe it as a medical Camelot, in a sense, and leave it at that for now.

Actually, Smareis, I doubt the young lady mentioned in the post will ever read the post. We went our separate ways quite some time ago. Our relationship, to be a bit melodramatic, was doomed to failure as soon as it began, I think, but it was marvelous in many ways while it lasted. I enjoyed her company and her presence in my life, but the sadness from parting is long past and only pleasant memories remain. I learned many years ago that some rivers are not meant to be crossed -- either literally or figuratively .... hmmmm .... now I am getting poetic.

I sometimes say (and have written in past posts) that I am not certain I ever really, truly, actually have been in love .... I am sort of like the guy in the Foreigner song, "I Want to Know What Love Is." Love is a holy grail of sorts for me. On the other hand, there are two women I have felt so deeply about that I married them, and three others I would have been willing to marry had circumstances been different. I am not so sure that love is more than an illusion.

I guess I agree with Martin Luther in terms of his words which you quoted. Coming at it from a slightly different approach, I do have an instinctual sense that the love I search for is ancient, and was something found and then lost in the mist of time. Perhaps, it has more to do with faith and belief than with anything else; perhaps, it is a genetic memory; perhaps ....

I am glad you feel you were blessed by being born into the times you were. I think I am Fram the Fortunate, but I am not so sure I actually was blessed by being born into my times. I occasionally think that I am being taunted by having to live in these times as a man whose nourishment is the study of history.

There are high crime areas and there are random crime areas. Only a few miles from where I live, there are high crime areas. My own neighborhood is a low, random crime area. I would not live in a place where crime is rampant. From my point of view, the way you describe Brazil is the same as I would describe the United States. Here, I would call it political correctness and the everlasting struggle for power which allow crime to flourish in many places. There is a battle of good vs. evil going on right now in many countries around the world, and the U.S. is no exception.

Well, I still will worry, Smareis. It is my nature.

Thank you, for coming here, Smareis, and thank you, for writing your thoughts here. The sun is shining again.

victoria said...

Una hermosa entrada Frank...Quiero agrdecerte tu cariñoso comentario amigo

Te voy a contar..En mi familia hay unos buenisimos fotográfos así que de pequeña ya convivia con la fotografia...Imaginate que tengo un albún de cuando estuvo mi abuelo en la guerra Civil con sus bombas ect..En casa de mis abuelos ya que convivia con ellos la mayor parte habia una pequeña habitación..Cuando entré a ella estaba muy oscura,,era la primera vez que me atreví a entrar..Tenia unas cuerdas por arriba de mi cabeza desde donde colgaban unos papeles especie de bañeras cuadradas con liquidos ese olor aún lo puedo percibir cuando entro a una tienda de fotografias o quizas llega mis recuerdos..Me quede alucianando de esos papeles blancos se ivan formando imánsé magia!!jajaj... que hermoso era ver como se completaba las imágenes ,los edificios ect tenia 12 añosMi tio en este caso me explico todo el procedimiento ya que era muy preguntana para todo lo desconocido para mí y aún sigo siendolo--

Besitos mi niño

Fram Actual said...

I have photographs going back to the days of my grandparents in addition to studio portrait-type photographs dating as far back as the 1880s, so we have family photography in common, Victoria.

Not long ago, I posted two photographs of one of my family members who was part of a tank crew during the last year of World War II. Those two photographs were taken in Germany in 1945. As a "student of war," I think it would be fascinating to see photographs taken by your grandfather during the Spanish Civil War.

In my own case, I literally robbed my "piggy bank" when I was five years old and went to a camera shop where I had done some preliminary research and purchased my first camera. Among the things I used it for was taking "selfies" of myself and my friends, so there certainly is nothing new about that technique.

My interest in photography has been off and on over the years. Through newspaper work I learned how to run a darkroom, which is very challenging work in terms of excelling at it. I suppose my peak interest came when I was a reporter and always had a camera as close as my car. I won a statewide news photography contest once, and I have been a judge in a few contests.

My general purpose with photographs here is simply to provide an illustration to accompany my post. Usually, my words, the illustration and the music have some connection or relationship. This photograph for this post certainly is not one to brag about, but it serves its purpose, I think.

Thank you, Victoria, for your visit to me and for taking the time to write a comment for me. I appreciate your presence here. And, through your comment it has been enjoyable and interesting to learn more about you and your background.

Something special ....