Here are several vignettes of my life, which I wish to share here, shared initially on February 26, 2016, on the blog of AJC columnist and blogger, Jay Bookman, with his Friday Night Music tribute to Johnny Cash on the day of Cash’s birth.
Let’s begin, though, with a song written and sung by Cash’s first child, Rosanne Cash. I chose this song, first, because the words from Rosanne Cash’s song, “. . .a river runs through me” left deep resonance in my soul and because my father had shared the words, below, of North Carolina native, Thomas Wolfe, with me when I was in my 50s, and those words, too, have resonated strongly in my soul:
“The writer, Thomas Wolfe, was sensitive to that collective consciousness in 1937 when he wrote these words titled, “Toward Which,” as part of his farewell to Germany:
“—Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded,
Toward which the conscience of the world is tending —
A wind is rising, and the rivers flow.”
From Bookman’s blog:
Johnny Cash has always been one of my favorite artists. His daughter is very talented as a poet and as a songwriter/singer, also. Johnny’s mountain roots always reminded me of my father’s.
This song by Cash reminds me of my first full year of teaching when I was a 27 year old in Valdosta, GA, having returned from 7 years in NYC. Those 7th and 8th grade kids used to laugh at my interest in Johnny Cash, but Lord I loved those kids. I loved teaching and kids from day one. Some of the poor white orphan boys in my basic English class (reading class, actually, from need) were from the Sheriff’s Boy’s Ranch in the outskirts of Hahira, Ga. and were so much in need of nurturing. Later, when I had moved to Atlanta, my mother would go by weekly and take her home cooked food and give her maternal nurturing warmth to those children (not those I had taught of course, but others who came along later, and were also disadvantaged, black and white by then.)
This song always reminds me of the spirit of my maternal grandmother, who died at age 95, and who was born in 1895. I was her favorite grandchild, of 17.
Two artists who could see “40 Shades of Green,” as well as multitudes of other colors of being – Johnny Cash and his daughter, Rosanne Cash, together at the end of JC’s life:
Another Poster: Thanks, for posting that, ME.
I caught this interview off your post and found it quite intriguing.
When I saw Kris Kristofferson’s face below in “The Highwayman,” I thought back to when he and Barbra Streisand had made the movie, “A Star is Born,” and I had loved this song by them together in that movie, entitled “Evergreen.” I was in my 30s, single again, and about 3 years away from meeting my second husband in Atlanta. I hope you all enjoy it, and maybe even check out the movie sometime, a “modern version” then of the 1950s “A Star is Born” with Judy Garland and James Mason:
Another Poster: “ME,
you are freaking me out now.
That song has great significance to me…”
“I usually follow my intuition, particularly if it is a strong inclination, whether unorthodox or not. (I cannot know why for I know not all the mysteries in this Universe but I listen to my heart and to my soul.) Glad I decided, for you, unknowingly, to post a Barbra Streisand traditional love song, on a Johnny Cash commemoration thread.
I had not noticed, until after I had posted both Streisand’s and older Cash’s songs, that I had unknowingly posted the theme of “Green” twice, in different contexts, on this thread, and that seeing Johnny Cash again as a very old man brought back memories of our (Johnny’s, Rosanne’s, and my maternal grandmother’s) common Irish roots.
Another coincidence which I just perceived this minute, which you and others may appreciate: St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is just around the corner, in commemoration (party style) of the Irish/English saint. I had met my second husband about this time in February, 38 years ago, and we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day together for the next 30 years, as a kind of 2nd Anniversary for our lasting union, until his death, in 2007, even taking our daughter with us to celebrate while she lived at home, growing up.
God, whose mind and soul are infinite, works in mysterious ways.