January 2011


book-popup.jpg
Nice review of Rodney Crowell’s new memoir in The New York Times. I heard he’d been hanging out with Mary Karr and now I know why, other than the fact that she’s another Texas wild card, charismatic and talented. Here’s an excerpt from the NY Times article:

“Chinaberry Sidewalks” also steers clear of the particulars of Mr. Crowell’s long career; if he wants to write another memoir, he’s got the goods. For now, he leaves readers with eloquent, movingly spiritual accounts of his parents’ very different deaths, events that inspired his deepest awe. One of the gifts of losing them, he says, was the realization that they were free of their troubles.
“Another,” he says, for all their turmoil, “was my conviction that in the end she was a wise and powerful woman, and he a kind and gentle man.

What really struck me was that the memoir seems to be mostly about his childhood and his parents and not a music biz tell all. Having lost my mother and father, I was surprised at the feeling of freedom that juxtaposed the grief and loss. They are free now, and in a way so am I. In a way, I think my son won’t be free until I’m gone, though I’m in ho hurry. He’ll have to remain in chains until that time!
It’s amazing, the long shadow and power that our parents have over our souls. You can’t wait to leave home and get out into the world, but there they are shadowing us. Something in you wants to right their wrongs, erase their sorrows and disappointments, restore the love that was there at your beginnings and led to your inception. It can’t be done, but you can write about it, and somehow vent it out and hopefully dissipate the darkness. I’d love to give my son that peace now, BEFORE I’m gone, but he’ll have to wait. Have been working on my own memoirs, though it’s an art project and not literary. Still a lot to write about, and God willing a lot more to come.
51qhcvkie-l_ss500_.jpg

When Your Father Dies -
Shifting the Sun

When your father dies, say the Irish,
You lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
You sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
You run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
You become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Indians,
He comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
He takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
You join his club you vowed you wouldn’t.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
Your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.

– from Selected Poems by poet Diana Der-Hovanessian

Comments

2010-9-27 @ 1:09:49 am [ Edit - Delete - Unapprove ]
The Cox family in NY ( sarahcox@twcny.rr.com / ) (IP: 74.79.133.211 )
Hi Larry,
We are all so sad with the news of your father’s passing, but we are grateful that we were able to spend three days with him in August. He was a delightful conversationist - what a nimble mind at his age! Our prayers are with you and yours,
Patrick and Sarah Cox and family

2010-9-28 @ 2:09:58 pm [ Edit - Delete - Unapprove ]
Carolyn Wallace ( carolynwallace@maine.rr.com / ) (IP: 24.31.132.98 )
Dear Larry, I just read about your Dad in this morning’s paper. My thoughts are with you. I so love this poem. Carolyn

2010-9-28 @ 2:09:21 pm [ Edit - Delete - Unapprove ]
Johanna Maaghul ( jmaaghul@jadworks.com / ) (IP: 173.166.53.42 )
Hi Larry - sorry to hear the news. Lovely poem you shared - I hope you had a chance to spend some time with your dad recently.

Blessings ~ Johanna

2010-9-30 @ 1:09:07 am [ Edit - Delete - Unapprove ]
Ryan P Cox ( rpcbuild@yahoo.com / ) (IP: 72.224.106.70 )
Dear Larry, words at times like these, written spoken or sung always seem to me frail and without the weight that they require. I will do my best none the less. “Uncle Donald” was a favorite of our visits to Bangor He adored our kids and was by nature such a kind, gracious man. He will be missed. We always ejoyed his company and his conversation Our thoughts are with you and yours,
Ryan, Andrea cox and family