Monday, December 17, 2007

we drank a toast to innocence

dana and pia sharing spirits,
watching the sunset on the beach in Victoria
circa 1982.

What I'll give you since you asked is all my time together
Take the rugged sunny days, the warm and rocky weather
Take the roads that I have walked along,
looking for tomorrow's time
Peace of mind
As your life spills into mine, changing with the seasons
Filling up the world with time, changing time to reasons
I can show you all the songs that I never sang to someone before
We have seen a zillion stars lying by the water
You have climbed the hills with me to the mountain shelter
Taking off the days one by one, setting them to breathe in the sun
Take the lilies and the lace from the days of childhood
All the willow winding paths leading up and outward
This is what I give, this is what I ask you for
Nothing more
Since You Asked, Dan Fogelberg (1951-2007)

It was the season in between adolescence and adulthood........the time of crossroad solstice where you can turn around and still touch campus life, final exams just a breath away. Ahead is perceived responsiblity fraught with unknown seriousness. Ahead you see brass ring opportunities, ideals that turn real............changes you will be a part of. The future is within reach...........almost........

But only after you spend some time floating and bobbing and enjoying without making any big decisions. Many people never have a chance to experience this particular transitional season. This is a luxury to take a breather from the intensity of studies, from the omnipresent looming career path. I was one of the lucky ones. Well, that's how I see it now.
Then? Well, I was getting over severe heartbreak as well as trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life since it had just taken such an abrupt turn. I was definately at a crossroads, having finished my undergraduate degree, deciding to take a break before entering graduate studies. At the time, it seemed like I was a boat without oars.

When the chance to spend the summer on Vancouver Island poked it's head at me, I seized it with both hands like a lifesaver. I needed fresh air, a new setting, a completely different boulevard of dreams in order to restore, repair, re-energize my whole self. I needed to run away, to stand in the summer solstice to find my own stillness again. My season in between adolescence and adulthood.....well the first part of it........was spent in a house in Victoria B.C. with 4 other females and another free bird who would join us in between tree planting expeditions and sleep in our backyard naked. Sometimes she put her clothes on for breakfast.
Anyways.......there I was, healing and soaking in some downtime, working a summer job running a day camp program, learning, growing, dating, drinking, carousing, sailing, laughing, camping, tanning and getting to know one particular friend named Pia.
From the moment we met......we hit it off, even though we were complete opposites.....extroverted English me, introverted Swedish Pia..........where we met were our interests, our love of the outdoors, our penchant for spontaneous outings, and our love of music. During this season of my life, it was Pia who introduced me to Dan Fogelberg...........I fell in love with life again listening to "Twin Sons of Different Mothers" while travelling along the ruggedly beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island with Pia in her little red volkswagen. Windows down...........seasalt breezes accompanied by the stirring instrumental harmony of Fogelberg and friends feeling, tasting, inhaling freedom together.
I listened to the music today while at work after I heard that Dan Fogelberg passed away at the young age of 56, vividly remembering the very first time Pia popped the cassette into her car stereo.......quietly and tearfully mourning the man whose music was the soundtrack of my season in between. I also wondered where Pia is travelling these days.............our paths never crossed again after that summer of pulling her into boisterous life, and she coaching back into calm stillness. I have this strong feeling that she was thinking of me today too............somewhere out there in this biggish smallish world.
Pia? You out there?? Let's drink a toast to innocence........

My Vauxhaul I bought for 100 dollars. She was the same age at me. 21 years old. At the end of that summer, I sold her for 200 dollars and put the earnings towards a plane ticket home.

The prompt this week for Writer's Island was "the season......." For more seasonal seasoned seasonings, click right here.


BreadBox said...

A year or so ago, I managed to track down some people I hadn't talked to since 1989 --- a little persistence, and a little luck, and I found them. Why don't you find Pia?
Good luck with the search,
p.s. it was sad news about Dan Fogleberg: he was not old, either....

Gypsy said...

Well look at YOU you gorgeous thing. Ah yes the age of innocence, heartbreak and all those new emotions we haven't yet learned to deal with. Beautifully written post Dana, I could feel your nostalgia in your words.

Btw I didn't know you were English, me too.

Awareness said...

Hey N. That's a good idea, though I don't know how far I'll get. Pia has returned to her maiden last name....I had met her right after she had split from her husband.......long story, but it was a marriage of convenience.....I can't remember her Swedish last name. Plus, she left Canada and was on the back of a Harley on her way to Alabama last i heard 20plus years ago.

Gypsy....I'm English/Scottish ancestry with Darby Irish thrown in. But, I am Canadian born and bred. Sorry about that. I should've written English speaking.
Yes, I just learned how to scan old photos!!! turns out my printer has a scanner on it! Who knew? So, I will pull out some old photos over the holidays and post some.

cheers to you both.

Prats said...

True friendship will always be remembered..hope you'll get to meet her someday...
But its so beautiful to cherish such memories.

Merry Christmas

keith hillman said...

Now you go looking! You need to relive those memories together.

Robin said...

The crossroad solstice, what a wonderful way to describe it. Mine sort of slipped by without me as I rushed from college to marriage and real life. I've always thought it would have been wonderful to take a year off to travel (together) before the wedding, but it didn't work out that way...

I was so sad when I heard about Dan Fogelberg yesterday, The Leader Of The Band has always touched a place deep inside of me.

Rambler said...

excellant memories.. amazing ones to relive for long long time

Rainbow dreams said...

Dan Fogelberg is a recent discovery to me here... will dig out twin sons later..
there are definitely different soundtracks to the seasons of our lives, that brings back memories...
that time of life is very special - has triggered some here too.. my wild reckless days... that weren't really so reckless after all!...full of emotion and hope and wonder and mystery...

Just Jen said...

This was great! A car for a hundred bucks, what a good deal!
Naked in the backyard? Wonder what happened to her? lol
I liked your post, thanks for sharing it!
This was a nice trip down memory lane. I tend to be to
You're an optimist!

paisley said...

what a beautiful tribute.. nopt only to your own youthful innocence,, but to dan fogleberg a prolific singer and songwriter... thank you

gautami tripathy said...

This is indeed a beautiful post. What memories! Thanks for sharing those with us!

seasons of eternity

totomai said...

a toast to innocence. such a loving and tender piece. who knows, Pia will read this entry of yours and lift a glass of champagne to you.

ah, seasons! full of memories. thanks for the read,


thanks for the visit. yes, a prayer for owen meany never fails to make me cry. hehe

Crafty Green Poet said...

even if you never find her again, you've got all those memories

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Ahh, what memories for me too...I love these pics or you, we would have got along great (I guess we do now....which is even better).

Very sad to lose Dan, maybe he will be what links you and Pia back together...

Perplexio said...

I'm a sucker for story-telling songwriters. Fogleberg was one of the last in that great tradition of songwriters. Both he and Harry Chapin wrote some great story-songs and much like Chapin he will always be remembered.

Admittedly I'm not as familiar with Fogleberg's work as I am with Chapin's. One of my sisters exposed me to Chapin when I was rather young and his music has stuck after all these years. My other sister introduced me to Billy Joel. My earliest childhood memory is being about age 2 or 3, wandering into her bedroom and asking her to play her 8-track of The Stranger AGAIN!

It's wonderful how music can act as a time machine taking us back to different times in our lives. Loved your post!

Marja said...

What heartwarming joyful story. Your memories of that seaon are indeed very special and is one of the things you can keep with you forever. I wish you and yours a merry Christmas.

Awareness said...

Hi all! Thank you for the terrific comments and feedback. Who knows if I will ever connect with Pia again. I have always believed that our friendship had meaning and perhaps it was a temporal one......a beginning and an end. As we were both going through some personal stuff, it was meant for us to help one another. We did that.......I flew home, and she took off on the back of a Harley. I can't imagine she ever really settled anywhere. wonder we connected!! You have mentioned my two ALL TIME favourite singer songwriters!! have we ever shared that info with one another?? Harry Chapin had such an influence on me during high school and university. I saw him in concert many times......even had a chance to meet and interview him about his work with World Hunger.
And Billy Joel? day he will be a guest at my dinner table for Thanksgiving. :) I still have a sketched out story about him that culminates with him joining my family for Thanksgiving.....I should make a serious attempt to write it.... :)
I have seen him several times as well. His music has been the soundtrack of my life.

cheers everyone.

Awareness said...

Marja thank you.....memories at this time of year do seem to pop up more frequently don't they?

Merry Christmas to you too.

paris parfait said...

What a great post, Dana! So sad to hear about Dan Fogelberg's death - much too young. I remember his music vividly and you've captured the spirit of the times in your piece. The photos are great, too! Thanks for reminding me of some turbulent/wonderful times. xo

Mary Timme said...

I love the line of Twins from different mothers, as I feel that way about many of the people I've met. What a shared rememberance.

Lucy said...

Dana, this was so sweet. You have to find your friend Pia! Maybe through your college? These were beautiful memories you've shared, thanks so much. Happy Christmas season to you!
oh.. I had NO idea Dan Fogleberg passed, How sad, he was so young.

Herb Urban said...

Beautiful tribute to friendship and what was obviously a very meaningful time in your life. Thanks for sharing this. I might go Google up some old pals and faded friendships.

Jeques said...

Beuatifully written nostalgic piece on the season of passage, the fascinating and enriching in transition life. Memories are made of these: moments, places, time and people. It's sad that some of these people are there only for a season, and after serving their purpose and reasons at a certain stage in our life they just disappear and some gone forever. But their is no harm to keep on hoping that one day your roads will cross again.

Please check out my thoughts this season:

I wish you well.

~ Jeques

UL said...

I hope you meet up with Pia one of these days, even if you dont, you shared such a beautiful friendship, thank you for sharing.


Redness said...

Beautiful nostalgic post! Merry Christmas xx