Tag Archives: Old

IRON AND WINE – Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat

So, I know it has been a while – both for me and a music review. But, you know, life happens. And lately, life has been crazy. New, old, unstable, unrelenting, busy life. I’ve been more stressed in the past few months than I have for the entire year.

And so, with all that anxiety in worrying about the past and future, I decided to pick a song that, I believe, is all about focusing on now.  “Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat” from Around the Well, is one of my favorites from Iron and Wine. Sam Beam is the man behind the name and has one of the most calming voices I have ever heard. One that I, frankly, cannot get enough of.

The acoustics in this song are simple and beautiful, repeating this flowing melody with sharper upper tones and a ghostly echo. Like so many Iron and Wine songs, there is an earthiness to the sound and an easiness that is both relaxing and familiar. There are no drums, no bass, and nothing fancy – just Sam’s voice, the guitar, and a woman’s voice backing vocals to enhance the wonder.

Sam starts in with the first set of verses and answers:

Talk of yesterday and she will show her
brothers photographed in calloused clothes.
Say tomorrow and she’ll say come find me,
on a beach and there will be no moon.

But say
today
and she will
kiss your face
and maybe
forgive.

Looking at this, many meanings can come forward from the lyrics dependent on a person’s history and life experiences. For me, right now, it is about today. The woman Sam talks about goes off on a sad nostalgia (photographed, calloused clothes) when asked about the past and when it comes to the future, it is dark and unknown (no moon). However, when you ask about the present and what is happening now, she is delighted.

The second verse continues this:

Talk of yesterday like bargain shoestring,
she will kick the car and find her friends.
Say tomorrow and then she’ll describe some
old communion cups and someone’s coat.

But say
today
and she may
look your way
and lead you
home.

When the past is mentioned, the woman is angered and begins to look for her friends.  To me that is a reaction to find comfort now in the people that surround you. When the tomorrow comes about, she diverges and reminisces on details that are not important in life. As if to say, why focus on things to come and not enjoy right now? I love how when today is the topic, she pays attention to the speaker and leads them home. She is so delighted to be in the moment with another person that she will share her home.

This song is a reminder to me to stop worrying about what happened yesterday, quit analyzing the probabilities of my futures, and just enjoy the now. Be present in the moment and live life.

Please take a listen to the song here .  I encourage you to then keep exploring Iron and Wine and bathe in Sam’s heart-wrenching sound.

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NIGHT

Wind whooshes through trees
and the cicadas screech.

The sun has knelt
as the coyotes yelp.

Limbs tangle and sway
creating a whole network
of elevated braids.

Stars flicker and hide
behind puffed clouds in the sky.

The air cools
as the Night rues
the warmth of Day
and passage of change.

AGE

I caught my reflection today.
The face was older than I remembered.
Lines stretched from corners.
And blotchy dots lie just below the surface.
I think what startled me most were the eyes.
Coarse, green circles that seemed to bore right into me.
There was still quite a bit of light to them.
But age had altered them, too.
It’s a funny thing,
my reflection.
My body continues to become defunct and rigid.
But my mind feels as though it has grown younger
and vivid.

JUST FINISHED: Stone Mattress

Author: Margaret Atwood

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Atwood’s “Stone Mattress” is a compilation of nine different short stories. Each tale is from a new perspective and time, though some are interweaved to relate back to other stories within the book.

One commonality that most of the short stories have is that the main character is elderly. This was a new one for me since most books that I do read never have a leading elder character. Having a point of view from that age group is fairly rare in fiction. Often, if a book is told from an older age, it’s a perspective looking back in time, not in the present. A present POV from an older person has a totally different effect with interesting thoughts on life and its future outcomes.

Each character has their own set of dimensions and each of them even manage to develop into likeable (or some unlikeable) people in the end. I find it impressive that the author can expel so much information and personality in such short instances.

Each tale has its own emotion, whether that be sad, angry, lost, confused, dark, comical, futuristic, or unexplainable. Atwood is fantastic at writing interesting characters from all walks of life and being able to dwell in several types of genres.

It was certainly fun to read a book filled with short stories, as I myself aim to actually write one worthy to even be called a short story. If you enjoy quick reads and are wanting a new age perspective for reading, this book is your go to. If not, I would still recommend you give it a try. You could even just pick one out of the nine.

GLASS TEARS

Listen to it,

creak and moan.

That house on the hill,

once called a home.

 

In its corridors,

dark shadows lurk.

Gliding in and out,

never to be a dearth.

 

Its floorboards are ragged,

worn and splintered.

The walls are rotting,

weak and withered.

 

Glass covers the ground,

from windows shattered.

The slivers glitter,

in the moonlight’s pattern.

 

They are tears crying,

for a past forgotten.

Memories have faded,

love has fallen.

 

In the fury of the wind,

I watch it sway.

How much longer

can it remain?

THE OLD LADY

Darin could not be more late as he trudged in the elevator. This morning was off to a horrible start.

His alarm did not go off (Stupid phone.); the toaster burned his bagel (Are you serious?); he spilt orange juice on his neatly pressed white shirt (Fuck!); Sherman, his rat-terrier, decided to have his way in the back corner of the bedroom (Great, more shit.); and shall we not forget the bumper to bumper traffic on the 409 that caused a fantastic mishap with Darin and an older lady.

“That lady. God, had she gotten under my skin,” Darin thought as he squeezed between the people in the elevator.

She just stood there, after the fender-bender, shaking her head. Her white curls bouncing about.

“Always in a hurry, you young folks. One of the many failures of your generation.” She bit her bottom lip and narrowed her eyes at Darin. A sigh quickly left her mouth.

Darin let his eyes meet her little, beady black ones. Drops of perspiration were forming on his forehead as he leaned against his old red Crown Victoria. The summer sun was on the rise.

He gave her an apprehensive smile. “You know, if you would just fill out your contact information on that little paper I gave you there, I could get on with my speedy ways.”

The old woman rolled her eyes. “Ha! Like I trust you to get this filed and settled properly. You’d just take this paper and throw it out the window. Pretend it never happened. And I would be out the money for my car.” She started with the head shaking again. “That’s another problem; your generation has no idea about responsibility. You’re also greedy, is what you are. Oh no, we will wait for the proper authorities.” She raised her eyebrows.

Darin heaved and looked around in bewilderment. He was getting nowhere with this old broad. He loosened his tie and stared back at the mess of wrinkles and dentures. He could feel her muggy hatred surrounding him. At the least, maybe his stare would do the same to her.

“Ding!” the elevator’s charming sound brought Darin back to the present. He swiftly moved to the back side of the office and into his cubicle. He laid back in his chair while the computer booted; perhaps the rest of the day would bring better tidings.