Karin and I were waist-deep in kid-wrangling, trying to get everyone packed up for the day, out the door, and buckled up in the car. The kids were screaming at each other about who got the black spoon or something and so I started yelling too.
Not how I drew things up, but life seldom is.
With everyone loaded (and still crying and fighting), just as I was about to depart I remembered the CDs…
Inspired from a scene from the movie Boyhood, my friend Ted created a 3CD set of “The Black Album” — a collection of the Beatles’ solo efforts.
I ran down to my office, grabbed the discs and we were off to the opening notes of Band on The Run.
“I don’t like this!” Alex snorted immediately. “Too slow!”
It builds, Alex, it builds, I assured him. (I’ve been raising him to rock).
He seemed to relax when the guitar part kicked in…
“If I ever get outta here… thought of giving it all away… to a registered charity…”
I certainly felt better about the day with McCartney riding shotgun. The music sounded crisp through my wife’s sound system, the kids settled in, and I noticed the sun fighting its way through the spring clouds.
Things were going to be okay.
Next up in the playlist, The Dark Horse. George. My Sweet Lord.
The sounds filled the car like a concert hall.
Alex had both his hands clasped behind his head. My kids were calm. Content.
They listened to the music.
In the rearview mirror I could see them connecting to the music, thinking about the words and sounds…
Seeing them experience one of the greatest pleasure in my life — actively listening to such great music — combined with the Hallelujahs from My Sweet Lord, the hot tears started running down my cheeks.
I wiped them away as I dropped Ella off at her school, and they returned for the next 20 minutes of our ride as John shared his remorse at being a real dick to his wife sometimes, George reminded me to let it all go to be happy, Paul gave thanks for having Linda support him when he was in the middle of somethin’ that he really didn’t understand, and Ringo was just so Ringo.
(For me, the brilliance of this Black Album is that you hear the lads from Liverpool as fully expressed individuals. I found myself thinking about how great it was that they broke up so that they could create something new, something true to themselves. They were The Beatles, yes. And yet they were more than that.)
This was an “American Beauty” moment for me — so much beauty coming in all at once that I thought my heart would burst. And like Ricky Fitts videotaped to remember, I write this to remember.
Before dropping Alex off, I checked my eyes.
They were fine.
The tears had washed them clean.