The day I fell in love with the Netherlands.
Where: 2001 Baxter Rd, 99504-3215 Alaska (United States). When: on 28-12-1972.
Written at 16-06-2011 by Kris Tengberg
Labels - lonely company friends friendship relax focus transcend transcendent music Nederlands Thijs van Leer Focus Focus 3 1972 spirit love true friends
This early, there were no rides coming down from the foothills, and it was an hour before I put my feet on the dirty black stripe that led into Anchorage.
Snow berms lined the road, black and ugly with salty sand. Eaten by sun and spray into caves and odd shapes, dark faces watched and black icicles dripped out of gaping mouths.
I counted steps until I forgot what I was doing. The only sound was crunch crunch crunch crunch walking. Exhalations followed me in a floating suspense that vanished. It was easy to imagine being the only one alive.
Perhaps I was on some parallel planet, mistakenly transported by curious beings to an experimental version of my home that had no humans. I had no way to know if they realized their mistake.
* * *
Finally, a noisy invader ate my dream.
Running boards and one headlight and driven by a silent woman and her wolf, it carried me all the way into Anchorage. The old pickup had no back window, and I saw the bones of something pointing at me from under a tarp in the back.
We got into town and still neither of us had said a word. I spied a spot, an intersection where I could fade, and abruptly the words left my lips: "I get out here."
She didn't move her head but she did pull over and let me go. I caught the eye of the wolf as they pulled away. I took an evasive shortcut to my friends.
* * *
Brent and Curtis are true friends and brothers. Happily for me, they were home! They welcomed me in and lit my face with their smiles, and my heart with their hugs.
Soon the coffee and company soaked into me, and I was feeling a little better. Then I noticed Curtis holding up an object and I felt a little spark of interest at what I saw. It was a record album, with a curious cover and the graphic: Focus 3.
He slipped a record out, put it on the turntable, and said, “I want you to just relax a little, and listen.”
I set my coffee down and lay back in the chair, and as I closed my eyes, the music began.
Slowly my heart grew warmer and my sadness started lifting as I filled with a climbing procession of calm piano, sweet guitar, wise old organ, exactly perfect bass and drums...
Suddenly the bold sweeping joy of a clear, sweet guitar led me soaring to the heights, and I exploded out of the world of worry into a bright transcendent flight of a song called “Focus III.”
* * *
Something in my spirit was spoken to in that time, some essential, familiar something awoke in me. An ally when I take time to just relax a little, and listen, my link to friendship and comfort and wisdom and joy spanning millennia, whose first warm breath I felt in that slow plod of winter.
* * *
The music of Focus is a gift of the heart and soul, freely given and gratefully received. In answering to the music of Focus, I am rejoined to the music of my ancestors, who ventured forth with vague maps over land and sea: the old, true stories, rewoven into new forms.
The beginning strains of any song they play fill me with their vital something, simultaneously ancient and new and interesting and eternal, a spirit I have always felt in the essence of the Netherlands; of ancient mysteries and new vision, of independence, of courage, of exploration, and discovery.
I end with appreciation: Thank you Brent and Curtis, for this and much more.
Thank you Thijs and all who have played with him as Focus and New Skin &ct; You are here in my heart. I turn people on to your music whenever I can!
Thank you Michel for your wonderful global canvas, and your loving support!
Thank You Nederlands! I love you for all sorts of reasons, the biggest because you are birthplace and home to the spirit of Focus, sound heart beating in the idyllic musical place I love to dwell...