Monday, November 3, 2008

These Arms of Mine

Lyric of the day pt. 2: These arms of mine, they are burning,Burning from wanting you.These arms of mine, they are wanting,Wanting to hold you. -Otis Redding

If you know me, then you know that I've always been a HUGE fan of music...particularly from the 50's and 60's. To understand the Heartsongs of a Churchgirl, you have to understand the music and the people that contribute to those songs.

Since I was little I've always loved the melodies of songs from the 50's and 60's. Their songs just always seemed to have so much more substance. Even if they weren't saying anything SUPER deep they said it in a way that could draw you in and make you believe in whatever they were talking about. They were passionate about the artistry of music. They didn't sing random shit just to make it to the top of the Billboards. Their love songs had a deeper meaning. Much deeper than the "I love you, let's fuck" music that we have now. Their love music had a way of actually making you fall in love with whomever you wished in that moment. It was soul. It was sincere Rhythm and Blues. It was sincere.....

One of my favorite Uncles was in his Teen/Early 20's during this time. We would always talk about the music from back then, because the songs that I had just "found" were the songs that he grew up on. It became a ritual for me to find an old song, mostly Jackie Wilson(both his and my fav) and Otis Redding, and tell him about it and then he tell me what was going on in his life when that song came out. It always amazed me that me humming a little piece of "Lonely Teardrops"(Jackie) or "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"(Otis) could make him recall FULL detailed memories....the power of music is amazing! We would talk and talk about what I liked about the songs. How the excitement in Jackie's voice was something to be imitated, and the passion in Otis' voice made you wanna cry. That was our place. That's where we connected. That's what we shared.
When my uncle got killed last year I tried to explain this bond to one of my friends and he just couldn't understand how something so small could extract such powerful emotion. All I could tell him was "that was our special place". A couple of months ago I was feeling nostalgic and decided to listen to ALL the Otis Redding songs I could find. I came across a song called "These Arms of Mine" and thought that my heart would break. But in that sad moment a smile spread across my face. I began to smile because listening to the words of this song I KNEW that my Uncle had made a few girls fall in love with him to this song, lol. It was at that moment that I felt the connection again. See, when he died I just KNEW that I'd never connect to him in this way ever again. I got so happy at that was almost as if he was standing by me with those loving eyes letting me know that he was still with me. That feeling was indescribable. There was in immense joy in the midst of sadness. I cried because I missed, and I smiled because I was glad that I'd been able to share that with him. Just him and me.

To this day I can't listen to that song without tearing up. I even asked my mom about it. When I said the name of the song she burst into a FULL solo, and began to re-live the house party that my Grandparents let my Uncle have and how he let her come out of the room to dance with him...on that song. When she said it I just started laughing.... It was almost like I felt my Uncle sitting up there laughing and saying "See Cuz I'm still witcha".

So as I sit at my desk, yes I'm crying but its okay, I can relate to the lyrics of this song....but in a different way "These arms of mine, they are wanting,Wanting to hold you". Like everyone who's lost someone close I wish that I could talk to him again. I wish that I could see his face again. I wish I could hear him laugh again. I want to see him walk through Grandma's front door carrying soda's, smiling, laughing out a "Hey!!! There's my favorite Cuz". I want to talk to him about this song and hear his perspective on what was going on in his world when this song premiered. I want hug him, and smell the mill on his clothes. I want to see him pull up in the lil red truck with some sort of animal on the back from his hunting trips. I want to see my buddy, my dad figure, my special connection, my friend, MY UNCLE.

I don't want to think about him and my eyes fill with tears. I don't want to have to visit a cemetary and talk to the hollow shell of what was once FULL of life. I don't want to believe someone would kill MY Uncle over something that was so far removed from him. I don't want to know that at every family gathering he won't be there, and there will ALWAYS be something missing. I don't want to believe that he was taken too soon. I don't want to think about the fact that I lost my 50's music buddy, and now its just me to appreciate it.

I want to smile again....
I want to be happy....
I know he wouldn't want us doing this, so I'll keep pressing to remember everything that he was, is, and will always be....My Big Cuz!

No comments: