had to cry today, and also run

September sunrise

September sunrise

A few days after seeing the fleeting supergroup Blind Faith perform in 1969, I awoke in the middle of the night with a song banging through my head. It was “Had to Cry Today,” the opening track of both the concert and their only album. Its insistent, mesmerizing double-guitar riff had taken over my brain like a master preacher overtakes a church.
I had seen the concert at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium with my childhood soulmate Brad Read, who’s remained a lifelong friend. Back then we exchanged letters filled with his skilled psychedelic artwork and my Donovan-like poetry. Today we exchange emails filled with the latest bends on our parallel life journeys.
One morning this week my journey took me running out the door and down to the park. It is where I go when I need to work something off or soak something up. This week it was to air out a host of pressures and stresses that have been working on me. The rising sun and sweet air told me this was the way to do it.
I listened not to Blind Faith but to Wilco, a skilled and sturdy band, which I dialed up on my trusty iPod. As I emerged from the tunnel under the freeway and into the blessed, green expanse of John Ball Park, I let Wilco’s sonic magic work on my tangled emotions like Blind Faith did my adolescent yearnings some 45 years ago.
Striding past the pond where the ArtPrize serpent bathes, looking east where the sun rose over the domes of Sacred Heart Church, I felt it welling up behind my eyes. It had to come, for whatever reason. Sometimes there is nowhere else to put it all. I had to cry that day.
As I returned to the crazy-steep hill of Bridge Street leading back up to my home, I resolved to dial up the New Pornographers, who are always good for a happy energy burst. But no, the shuffle took me to Wilco’s “On and On,” which pretty much finished the flushing job with its lullaby melody and affecting lyrics:
This world of words and meanings makes you feel outside
something that you feel already deep inside
you’ve denied.
Go ahead and cry.
Sometimes there’s no other answer for what works on you outside and makes you feel inside. That’s a beautiful thing. For tears express joy as well as sadness, sanctifying both sunrises and sunsets.

September sunset

September sunset

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4 Responses to had to cry today, and also run

  1. Yo char

    I know this feeling. I bet it is partly about Max. As always, beautifully written. Love Your bro

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Deb Heinzelman says:

    Just had to go to YouTube to find this song….found it. Pretty cool. So look forward to reading your inspiring writings, Charles. You always bring more meaning to each day. Bless you.

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