Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost and Found

I'm still sleepy from sitting up waaaay past my bedtime Sunday to watch ALL the sturm und drang that came with the series (and in a way, epoch) ending of Lost. I stumbled across it by accident the night it debuted (I use the TV remote as a flashlight, shining it almost non stop across the channel selector, hunting for who knows what). Couldn't tell you,120 episodes later, what about the show got me, specifically, because it just seemed to be everything.

So much has been written already about what became a national and international seance Sunday evening as we peered into the flickering electric fire as much for light as for warmth. How much of either any of us found had a great deal to do with how much of each was within ourselves at the beginning. Sorry to bore you if you've read a lot of the reviews or if you've never had a use for the show. My life is such that I build my week around House and Lost, so the good news, I guess, is I now have Tuesday nights free and already have my own bowling shoes...

I could never be a Trekkie for any TV show-it requires a discipline I will never possess but I did very much enjoy every episode of Lost and felt, and still feel, a keen sense of emptiness now that it is over. That said, it's not a show I'd buy on DVDs to watch again--it was part of an extended moment for me as much my viewing was a moment along with everyone else who watched it. When I skip a Yankees game on ESPN for something else, it's serious, and this was that.

When it was all over and I could finally toddle off to bed, oh bright early comes semmlich fruh in these parts, I kept coming back to the church where so many of the characters, alone and sometimes together, came to be. I couldn't remember seeing David, Jack's son, in the church so Christian's explanation 'we all die, kiddo' resonated with me. Perhaps all the children we saw throughout the seasons, except Aaron, may have been Charles Lamb's 'Dream Children,' which is now merely another road not taken on a journey that has ended but never stopped.

As the survivors' collective awareness, and the awakening of that awareness, together with the love they felt (and feel) for one another, brought them all to the church, I remembered the first season, first episode warning 'if we don't learn to live together, we'll die alone.' Sunday night, for me, they did JUST the opposite. As the minutes ticked down to 11:30 all I could hear was The Beatles.

At some point yesterday, with that tune still in my head, I realized, with a start, Monday was Bob Dylan's 69th birthday (I refuse to hyperlink Dylan's name. If you don't know who he is, tuck in your prehensile tail, find the drop down window and go ahead and double click on something, anything, else). Child of the Sixties that I will always be, he and they are linked even if they came from different points on the horizon. With a tip of the cap to Jagger, Richards, Townsend, Davies, Mitchell, and a hundred (perhaps a hundred thousand) others, Dylan, Lennon and McCartney constructed out of whole cloth, the fabric of rock and roll that we are still hemming and cuffing nearly half a century later.

None of them thought they were doing anything original-as Lennon once described Beatles' music, 'we were building our own chairs, that's all.' If you're under the age of thirty, it may be impossible to explain to you what pop, because there really was no rock, music sounded like before they showed up and tuned up. And if you're a Presleyite and I've hurt your feelings, I'll say I'm sorry but know that I'm not. For people my age who regard almost all the music my (adult) children listen to as an auditory abomination, I cannot explain why I'd choose Dylan over their flavors (or flavas, if I were a playa), but there'd be NO hesitation as I did.

We grew up together, Dylan and I (and a global generation that finally had a music of their own) and whether I like it or not, we've grown old together as well. And now when he sings, it's in my voice. "Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose. Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose. People are crazy and times are strange. I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range. I used to care, but things have changed." Don't know if you find surviving to be worth celebrating, Bob, but when it's all I got, I do. And I'd encourage you to do the same.
-bill kenny

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