Blogging about firsts sure takes one on a ride. Wow, talk about walking in the past through the halls of the future. I remember so many things, and not necessarily all of my “firsts”.
I do, however, remember my first true love. I met him when I was twelve, was “dating” him when I was fourteen and broke up with him when I was nineteen. I wore him like a second skin most of my life. I, because of this experience, completely understand Romeo and Juliet and the passion they shared. I totally understand teenage angst and how it feels like the beginning or end of the world. He was a part of what shaped me. Those years formed who we became. He took me for a ride I’ll never forget. I hope he won’t either! There is a French song, “Une Lettre” by Jean Jacques Goldman which is about a man writing a letter to his first love and in it he asks; did we live the same story? I asked myself this many times and found my answer to be that even if we didn’t, whatever story we lived was amazing, frightening, painful and full of life. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
The first song that I remember loving, listening to until I knew all the words, and then still trying to understand them, was “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen. The album which carried this song was played in my home from the time I can remember, and the woman in chains among the flames on the back of the album only increased my interest in it. My mother’s name is Sue. I equated the mystery of this song to the beauty and mystery of my mother. The song talked about Suzanne as if from a distance and how magic she made one feel. It seemed to fit my mother. I still LOVE this song. I still think of my mother as a mystery.
The first “movie”/piece de theatre that I fell in love with, that marked me, that I went right out and bought the soundtrack to was “Hair!” I saw it on stage when but a youngster, and then saw the movie in 1979 when it came out. I’d seen “Woodstock”, but Hair took me to places I’d never known were possible. I really fell for the story, the music, and the characters. I couldn’t get enough of it.
The first story/book that made an impression on me was a short story in Ray Bradbury’s “R is for Rocket” or “S is for Space.” The image of a young boy standing at the fence looking through it to see the rockets blasting off and dreaming of being an astronaut haunted me for a very long time. I read everything Ray Bradbury wrote for years. He has a way of telling a story that I would bleed to be able to, not copy him, but write as well and distinctly as he does in my own way. His words, his narrative has punch and it got me in the gut all the time. Still does.
What were your firsts?