“Just listen,” I said for the umpteenth time. It was so frustrating that my mother was so dismissive of the music I was loving at the time. Roughly age 15 or so. It was Simon and Garfunkel for heaven’s sake, beautiful music, and elegant words. How could she not listen and be moved? It made me so mad.
And of course I didn’t think it was the same thing at all when I was in the car with my son when he was about that same age, and on the radio came the latest trend in ‘music’, a rap song. There was nothing elegant in those lyrics, or if there was I couldn’t get past the un-elegant parts to hear it. I would snap my fingers, pretending to be snapping to the beat, which there wasn’t any that I could hear. I was sure rap would be a flash in the pan.
Will that rap music be something he looks back on eventually and feel that it was written just for him, as I am doing now with Simon and Garfunkel? I found something in their music that spoke to me back then, and, if anything, it speaks to me more now, decades later. “How terribly strange to be seventy”, they said. Yes, it is, and I’m not quite there yet so I’m having my moment over it in advance. It’s a cliche isn’t it, old people’s minds going back, living in the past? Hanging onto their memories? Is that what’s happening to me? Am I Slip-Sliding Away?