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Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Road to Dotage 3: My Back Pages

                                   “I got no future, baby, I know my years are few.
                                    The present’s not that pleasant; just a lot of things to do..” 
                                                                                    L. Cohen  

Every summer you learn something about yourself.  It’s the time of year when structure breaks down, when you drift off to different places, some boring, some exciting; you do new things, you do the same old things, but sometimes they come out different.   This summer I learned that I can no longer dance every day and night.  

I’ve been going to dance camp with the Country Dance and Song Society nearly every summer since 1976.  The first year it was American Week at Pinewoods Camp in Massachusetts.  We did Appalachian clogging, contras and squares, plus I took a fiddle workshop and sang early American hymns.  This took place in the woods and went on all day and half the night.  It was the total opposite of my life in the city, working in a tense newsroom, visiting my children on weekends in a broken home.   

I got so high at Pinewoods – on nothing but dance, music, women partners, a black pond and country air – that I could hardly sleep.  I would stand outside my cabin in the dead of night and vibrate in the wind, shaking with a continual attack of energy, howling silently through the trees.