Uncategorized 04 Mar 2003 01:39 am

Good to See you

Neil Young has a way with a song. He can express things that no other song writer can. “Good to See You”(mp3) (tab/lyrics) suits my mood best today.

His songs are plaintive and unchallenging to listen to on the surface, but there is a lot of sweet subtlety and depth of feeling there for the attentive. To me, Neil Young’s songs are what the rolling hills in north central California would sound like if they were music instead of landscape.

Long serene stretches of rolling hills covered in tall straw grasses are like the folk chords G,C,D,Am,Em. Seemingly they offer nothing but a monotonous plain vista. Standing in it though there is so much.

The aromas of dill and fennel are reminiscent of old kitchen drawers in my grandmother’s house. They call back memories.

The variation in the landscape is rhythmic. Here and again are solitary California oaks. Each one is strong and gnarled with symmetrical intricate branches. Yet they all lean, pushed by the ocean wind coming over the hills. They stand and draw the eye, accents.

In summer, the sun can warm the fields to the point that everything is thirsty-dry and smotheringly hot. Down in the sheltered corners of the hills you find unexpected groves of eucalyptus and redwoods. They are comforting, cool respites from the sun and wind. The eucalyptus bark piles up on the ground and hides foxes and coyote. The soil is loose dirt, like flour, that piles up into miniature drifts covering everything. It stays on your pants and shoes.

In midday, the farther hills look like spotted cowhide from the cloud shadows. Each new vantage offers new patterns. In evening, the light brown color of the hills reflects the golden sunsets intensely. The earth takes a brief, brilliant solo.
Then the dens of eucalyptus and redwood get cold, and deer appear out of them.
Who knows where the deer came from?

What’s most alike is when you get close to the hills or the songs, there’s a chance you might glimpse something beautiful. When their quietness can quiet you then you might be able to see yourself.

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