"Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait" -Longfellow

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Willie Nelson "Uncloudy Day"

There’s a Willie Nelson song called “Uncloudy Day” (it's actually a gospel cover, but for me- it belongs to Willie). I don’t know which album it originally came off of, but I learned it through my parents heroically worn cassette tape of Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits (And Some That Will Be). That cassette had a nondescript off-whiteness to its opaque shell, hiding away those simple yet mesmerizing innards other tapes would flaunt to the high hills. I kinda imagine it was the same color as the walls of some shithole trailer where Kris Kristofferson and Willie would down Lonestars and cocaine bumps late into the thickly humid and ambling night- beneath the threat of another grisly sunrise. It was colored mighty like the tape I learned to love “City of New Orleans” with- that rambling song of near-religious love and fascination, the eyes of ‘the dream’ and the warmly weathered hand of reality, the preoccupation and forgetting about it because 'fuck it'. 

“Uncloudy Day” (being itself an underhanded reference to life-long ailing) doesn’t need to become muddled or attempt esoteric complexity for our purposes. It is a song about the other side of the mountain. It is a song about the good kind of passing through- no more drifting- it’s a song about a temporal home. In the bleary no-bullshit-early-morning it is a song about Heaven. To really believe the song, I guess you gotta fancy yourself back to boyhood- past your hang ups and past trying to write it out or ride it out. It takes a level of idealism and jackassed intensity, a level of beer bubbles leftover in the brain, a certain mystical number of old memories wafting towards awareness. It’s sorta akin to the mental technique one might use to truly appreciate the petting of a dog. I’m not talking about being stuck in the past, but bringing the green and free expanse of childhood’s unspoiled earnestness in to the present moment.

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