music and the memory

 

Music and the memory: my first feeling of Florida.

I met her at the plantations pool. She’d also arrived the day before, from France. With haltingly slow English, and smiles, we talked about Bird, and clouds, and creativity. We walked to my condo and sat on the floor. I played her some music.

Smooth sultry walk, I remember. Young fresh bright smile. The way she talked, her accent and her phrasing, gave rise to a sense of impending possibility. Her moves and her smile said, “Something’s up.”

That night: walking along the stream and watching thunderheads full of electric light. There was an eclipse of the moon. Golf course greens stretched out straight and flat, silvery flash on foggy dew. My bare feet through stiff wet grass. Humid tropic air.

The possibility of her. The sky, the air, the music drifting out of my open door, the very fact of being in Florida. I somehow knew I would stay. I knew then that Florida was my home.

As I write this, I’m listening to the tape she’d lent me that day, the soundtrack to “Le Grand Bleu.” So very much happened to me in Florida. It made me into a very different man. And now, after so long, to hear this same music, and feel this same mood, I’m overwhelmed. What a gift to still remember.

Where are you Estelle? Could you ever know what I felt that night?
There is so much power in what may be.

(March 1992)