Friday, March 16, 2012

The Scintilla Project - Day 3

Today's prompts. I'm going with the first one.

1.Talk about a memory triggered by a particular song.

2. What's the story of the most difficult challenge you've faced in a relationship? Did you overcome it? What was the outcome?

Several songs popped into my head when I read this prompt. Like most people, some of the best and worst moments of my life have a song associated with them.

I remember listening to the Moody Blues "Nights in White Satin" constantly during one particularly difficult time in college, driving my roommate practically to the point of homicide -- it was either me or that record, and one of us was not coming out of the room intact. "My Heart will go On" from the movie Titanic was the song that played constantly the winter that Tony and I met.

But the one that always makes me a little wistful is "Catch the Wind" by Donovan. It was summer of 1965, and my boyfriend and I were about to leave for college -- separate schools, his some 800 or so miles away (in North Carolina) from mine in northern Missouri.

We had a wonderful relationship, really. He was my first boyfriend -- two years in high school, and two plus, more or less, in college. We had a great time together and I learned to be more extroverted because of him: he was everyone's friend and a great dancer, talented writer, voracious reader, and I knew that if I was going to be with him, I had to overcome my own shyness.

And it was largely that relationship that clarified forever my beliefs about sexuality and love. One day during our senior year, he'd taken me out on the school lawn during lunch hour to confess that he was attracted to a boy in our choir and that they'd kissed. It wasn't that he didn't love me, but it was that also he loved the boy. And we talked about his feelings and my feelings and societal views and God's views (we were both very involved in our respective church youth groups -- me Methodist, him Presbyterian -- and often attended each other's church functions). As it evolved, we stayed together as boyfriend/girlfriend, and the boy was a part of the large group -- the Motley Horde, as we called ourselves -- that we socialized with.  I was okay with things as they were: to my knowledge, he and the boy were just friends after that confession.

The moment I remember best, though, at least in relation to the song, was sitting on the front steps of his house one hot late summer afternoon, and talking about our relationship and how being apart was likely to impact it.We talked about his bisexuality, as we understood it then, and about dating others, and about what we'd meant to each other. We quoted lyrics to each other (as only the young can do) from "Catch the Wind," teared up a little at them, held hands, and cuddled together for one of the last times before leaving. We knew college would change us; he was uncertain about his own sexuality and feelings, and warned me he couldn't promise me anything. Because I loved him, because I understood that he was speaking his conflicted truth, I accepted that. The song seemed to say everything about what we hoped for and wanted in a relationship, and yet how impossible it was to capture at that time in our lives.

Note: At one point in  college, he decided he wanted to marry me, and I agreed. That didn't happen, at least partly because eventually I figured out more clearly what I wanted from life and a mate. He has been in a loving, long-time relationship with a wonderful man, and they attended Tony's and my wedding. I will always love him for all that he meant to me then and all I learned from him.

"In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty
I want to be
In the warm hold of your lovin' mind.

To feel you all around me
And to take your hand
Along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky
I want to hide a while
Behind your smile,
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing,
'T would make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Diddy di dee dee diddy diddy,
Diddy diddy diddy dee dee dee.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears
I want you near to kill my fears,
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

For standin' in your heart
Is where I want to be
And long to be,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind. ~ Donovan, "Catch the Wind" (you can listen here)

No comments: