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Fair Winds And Following Seas

September 18th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments
On Such A Day

On Such A Day

I just haven’t had the time to do the writing I have wanted to… until today. I’m sitting around in Athens, Ohio while my Ultra Classic is at Athens Sportcycles for a servicing. How fitting to start with out annual David Weiss 9/11 run which this year coincided with the Pick ‘n’ Putt at the Fur Peace Ranch. I remember that crisp September morning eleven years ago as if it was yesterday.I was in Columbus headed for a doctor’s appointment and Michael Falzarano called me and told me of the first strike. It didn’t register with me… it was so unthinkable. I was parking the car and I told Michael I’d call him right back but when I did, all the phone lines were already out. 9/11 was a game changer… and nothing would ever be the same again. David was a friend of mine… we knew each other when I lived in Woodstock in the late 80’s. We hadn’t kept in touch, bur I felt that someday we would ride together again. Of course this will not happen on this side of the river… but I remember him well, and others I and we all lost that day.

Never forget... never!

Never forget... never!

The weekend came and went and the ride that day was beautiful. The following week, Myron and I headed north to join Barry Mitterhoff for four dates in the Northeast.

I think I'll have  milkshake...

I think I'll have milkshake...

Life on the road is filled with little moments the evoke the past in a thousand ways. Going into an old school diner and being compelled to order a milkshake is one of them

Old school...

Old school...

That’s what I’m talking about.

Early on during this little run, our Consulate in Benghazi was attacked as well as our embassy in Cairo. I come from a Foreign Service family and this really came close to where I live. I remember wherever my Dad was posted… in the Far East… wherever… there were always Marine guards. The Embassy in Manila was like a fortress. How could this have happened? Where were the Marine guards whose presence is always felt in our diplomatic outposts? My heart goes out to those families who lost loved ones in this tragedy. It should not have been allowed to happen… and I am outraged!

Back in the States… our privileged life continued on the road where the most dangerous thing that we experienced was high gas prices on Long Island. All that said, thank goodness small town America is still alive and well.

Good times

Good times

In Phoenixville, there was not only Heidi Sue’s Variety, but the Colonial where the Blob was spawned and where we played.

Yeah... that's me in the mirror

Yeah... that's me in the mirror

With friends and loved ones passing at what seems to be an alarming rate… one cannot help but consider one’s mortality. I’m a reasonably healthy and vigorous guy… but I feel age circling me as I see it circling others. The feelings vanish when i am with my family… when I see my young daughter play the piano and I see the same light in her eyes I feel in mine when I hear or play music. Hanging with my son Zach gives me the same feeling of tempered immortality. That said, when I wipe the sleep out of my eyes in the morning… I feel my Father’s face with my hands.

Sailing To Byzantium by William Butler Yeats

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
–Those dying generations–at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

My Father loved that poem… and I do too. We shall all strive not to be paltry things… either today or in the future. The world is still filled with life evolving… we must try to be part of that world…

This has been quite a ramble for me, but that’s just how I am feeling this morning… I shall take my feelings in hand and carry on for a while.

The sky speaks to me

The sky speaks to me

Fair winds and following seas to all of us!

  1. Joanne
    September 18th, 2012 at 11:39 | #1

    Awoke this morning and read your blog and it brought me to tears….I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday.My parents were visiting us(my Dad a navy man) and a neighbor came running to our door to tell us to put on our TV and what was happening.We all were in shock and that was the first time I saw my dad cry.We all sat close together and cried for our country.Soon after Dad passed away,but that day somehow made us so much closer…
    Our children and grandchildren make us feel so much younger,full of life,full of love and happiness.I sure understand that feeling that we are losing friends and family now,we lost six of them this year!
    But, with all the love from our family,great music from you and the Tuna family life is good.I am a proud American and a proud Grandmother.

  2. Barbara Jacobs
    September 18th, 2012 at 12:53 | #2

    “The sky speaks to me”

    could be translated into Yiddish as:
    “Zei moykhl, ikh kish daim himl itst”,

    which is:
    “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” and:
    “I’m kissing the sky now”

    It’s an expression of the pleasure we get from the beauty of the sky,
    and also the rememberance of those dearly departed loved ones in Heaven.

  3. Brett
    September 18th, 2012 at 15:07 | #3

    Great Blog entry Jorma! The part about family is what got me all misty

    To paraphrase from the Book of Bob as I like to call it:

    “May our hearts always be joyful, May our songs always be sung, and may we stay…Forever Young”

    Enjoy the flames of fall Jorma…..and many, MANY more to come!!!


  4. Bob Kelly
    September 18th, 2012 at 15:08 | #4

    Thanks for the well thought out words and sharing the poem here..and yes it seems we are losing friends at a fast pace here also..but we take our hits,, dust ourselves off and keep on moving.. They become part of what we are.. just as that day 11 yrs ago.. has changed me forever.. you adjust and draw the good out … as often as you can, try not to dwell on the negative stuff….. stay well.. catch you all down the road.. looking to hit the Bolton show next month out here on Long Island.. thanks again Jorma regards to all..

    Bob and Eileen Kelly and family

  5. cyndy consentino
    September 18th, 2012 at 15:46 | #5

    Dear Jorma,

    Beautiful post. Thanks for the lovely poem.

    Stay well,

  6. Joe
    September 19th, 2012 at 05:39 | #6

    Thank you . So very true !

    Keep on truckin’ !

  7. eaglesteve
    September 19th, 2012 at 10:53 | #7

    Well said Captain.

  8. carlo pagliano
    September 19th, 2012 at 12:55 | #8

    It certainly is another life when the first early morning coffee is with Jorma’s blog well in mind, i sort of let myself be reset by every new blog entering from Jorma, and the above is an Epiphany at the nth, so that a normal September mo, which is already a kick by itself, becomes magnified to the uttermost, the contrition too, concerning the topic related, is convoyed in the right direction for us or for me in order not to derail in a dead-end track with distorted feelings. And we are only having coffee.
    Thanks Jorma for sharing your intuitions, which are what it really is or soon become so.

  9. eaglesteve
    September 19th, 2012 at 13:01 | #9

    Happy Birthday to Dave Bromberg

  10. Steve Levenson
    September 19th, 2012 at 13:08 | #10

    Lovely poem. reminds of Rabbi Ben Ezra (Robert Browning)–the famous quote “Grow old along with me-the best is yet to be.” I’ve always liked the following two verses:
    Ay, note that Potter’s wheel,
    That metaphor! and feel
    Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,–
    Thou, to whom fools propound,
    When the wine makes its round,
    “Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!”

    Fool! All that is, at all,
    Lasts ever, past recall;
    Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
    What entered into thee,
    That was, is, and shall be:
    Time’s wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure.

    I did some work at Ground Zero in December of that year. The emotions were still pretty high, people still working through all sorts of unspeakable grief. But we all knew that we had to keep moving forward, what other choice is there? Potter and clay endure.

    Thanks again, Jorma, for reminding us what is really important.

  11. John
    September 19th, 2012 at 13:40 | #11

    Well said. Mortality…losing friends and loved ones…..I can’t help but think of Jack. I sure hope he is doing well in this undoubtedly difficult time for him. My hope is that he will hit the road with you guys soon…..surely that must be theraputic? There is a review piece in this morning’s NY Times on Neil Young’s forthcoming autobiography. It’s a great read and what I found particularly amusing was Neil’s reference to Jack’s “suitcase.” I’m sure you and Jack will find it amusing too. Please share with him. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/magazine/neil-young-comes-clean.html?_r=1&hp
    Looking forward to enjoying an evening with you guys At Infinity Hall next month. Thanks for the music and your thoughtful insight. Good vibes to Jack.

  12. John Mullen
    September 19th, 2012 at 16:08 | #12

    Outstanding passage. Thanks for sharing the poem and your outlook on life. It’s always good to be reminded of the important things in life. See you at the Levon benefit in NJ.

  13. Barbara Jacobs
    September 19th, 2012 at 18:14 | #13

    Thanks for purchasing a ticket for such a heartfelt cause, John.
    It’s going to be a great concert.

  14. Paul Z
    September 20th, 2012 at 09:03 | #14

    Beautiful poem, Jorma and such eloquent reflections. Might we all live life to the fullest and may we all say as the light of day leaves our eyes: I did what I came here to do and it is done.

  15. Richard
    September 20th, 2012 at 19:28 | #15

    Jorma–My wife and I were at the Phoenixville show, and it was terrific. I got a special thrill hearing Children of Zion, after having played it with you and your guitar students at FPR back in August. That weekend is still very present in my mind. I loved how Loudon Wainwright read some of his dad’s column’s at the Phoenixville show. That was a real treat and made me think of my own dad, gone these five years.

    Safe journeys.

  16. Jerry
    September 25th, 2012 at 10:45 | #16

    “When I wipe the sleep out of my eyes in the morning… I feel my fathers face”. Wow !! Jorma this Quote just welled me up . (I gaze in the mirror and see the lines in my face). … I’m getting older. All this followed by the Yeats poem… was Like a ONE-TWO-POW-BAM to the heart! I so enjoy your way with words,always have. Peace

  17. Dusty
    September 30th, 2012 at 07:44 | #17

    Many of us read the N.Y. Times that day. Pono? Classic Neil. The briefcase comment? Also classic Neil. He was probably unaware of Jack’s dilemma, although Neil always had the knack for occasionally inserting foot in mouth. Your comment that it would be found amusing? I would think that all of the boys at FPR would be regarding some of the posts, including this one, to be of the variety that a lot of people have too much reckless time on their hands. Similar to the post about a ticket-holder complaining about acoustics and stage proximity. Always/never!!!!!!!

  18. John
    October 8th, 2012 at 10:31 | #18


    You lost me. But that’s ok. I can assure you there was no malice intended in my post. The burden of communication is on the sender. Correct? That being said… I apologize that my comments were somehow misconstrued. Yes…..my belief is that both Jack and Jorma would find Neil young’s “suitcase” comment amusing. Humor helps us all get through the tough times. Peace my friend. Life is too short.

  19. Dusty
    October 9th, 2012 at 07:41 | #19

    Hey John,
    No malice taken, brother. Any fan of Jorma’s is a friend of mine. I must have had a bug on my windshield that day. We should use some platform other than this to communicate; free up JK’s space. Peace to YOU. Your pleasantries are so true.

  20. Morgan Ravensdaughter
    November 14th, 2013 at 13:23 | #20

    W.B. Yeats…the best poet imho, glad to see him quoted, he wrote in dreamland images. Thanks