Waiting for Captain Fantastic
Have you ever tried to put a certain event from your past into the chronology of your life? Memory is not fact based but sensory based. I was trying this morning to remember what was going on, where I was in time, one evening that I remember so clearly. It wasn’t an evening of particular importance in the scheme of my life but I remember the sounds, the colors, the light, the feelings vividly. Its actually rather trivial. I remember staying up past midnight one evening listening to the radio and waiting for the release of Elton John’s new album “Rock of the Westies.” I was in the kitchen of my parents’ old home, everyone else was asleep and I had the radio on softly as I painted. I was working on an 18 x 24 masonite board to which I had applied white ground. It was a painting of plants leaves and I was working in acrylics. I can still see the painting in front of me, the colors and the paint watery in places, thick in others. I remember the feeling of being “in the zone” and the sensation of quiet all around me except for the FM radio playing softly. I remember the excitement as the album was finally premiered and a slight sense of disappointment (Rock of the Westies was not one of my favorites from Sir Elton and Island Girl, well, I just find annoying). But if you ask me what else was going on at that time in my life – frankly I don’t have a clue. I was in college and going by the date Rock of the Westies was released, I was going into my sophomore year. I would have to go back and piece together what classes I was taking, what shows I was working on, who was around me in order to get an idea of what else was going on at that time. But that particular moment in time, just me, the painting and Elton in a quiet kitchen in the middle of the night is absolutely fresh in my memory.
I include a video – but not Island Girl – this is one of the many Elton John songs I listened to that night on the old FM radio – while its gotten over exposed in the past few years – it was mesmerizing when I first heard it way, way back then: