Friday, January 02, 2009


Many, many years ago I visited my cousin Sea_Pea_Tea when he was still a student at Central Michigan University. I remember fondly him taking me on a tour of the greenhouse on campus where he was employed, I believe in an arrangement with the program in which he was studying, but I could be misremembering. I'm not sure if I had ever seen a banana tree before, but I was certainly wowed by the size of the leaves on the banana tree in that greenhouse. I also remember, in the style of two college students who were both into music, sharing a few cd's with each other at his place. One of the bands he introduced to me then was a group called Poi Dog Pondering, and their album "Wishing like a mountain and thinking like the sea". A collection of wistfully upbeat chamber rock songs, the album didn't immediately grab my attention. But through a few repeated listenings, the poetry of one particular song started to speak to me. The track is called "Thanksgiving", and while the words really deserve the music, and vice versa, I'd like to share the lyrics with you here. They exhibit a certain turn of phrase that I came to find quite beautful, and poignant.

Somehow I find myself far out of line
from the ones I had drawn
Wasn't the best of paths, you could attest to that,
but I'm keeping on.
Would our paths cross if every great loss
had turned out our gain?
Would our paths cross if the pain it had cost us
was paid in vain?

There was no pot of gold, hardly a rainbow
lighting my way
But I will be true to the red, black and blues
that colored those days.

I owe my soul to each fork in the road,
each misleading sign.
'Cause even in solitude, no bitter attitude
can dissolve my sweetest find

Thanksgiving for every wrong move that made it right

As an aside, I later found out that the father of the lead singer worked as a solar physicist at the solar observatory in Hawaii. Thus the bands name involving Poi, the sometimes Hawaiian themed instrumentation, and a particular song on one album called "Circle round the sun". I found this out because my supervisor at the Naval Research Lab, when I worked there during an internship during college, worked with this particular solar physicist at one point previously. Would our paths cross, indeed.

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