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Tag Archives: Townes Van Zandt

In Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams” one of the scenes involves a day when it rains when the sun shines, a day when children are advised to play indoors because the foxes have their weddings, and do not like to be seen, but a boy disobeys, and watches anyway, and gets in trouble.

I thought of that scene today when a funny spring storm, with bright sunshine and rain mixed with snow fell just as we were leaving our farm and heading back to Spokane.  We have splendid views of the sky to the west and the south, but both the north and the east are hidden by mountains, so when weather comes from those directions, it feels like it’s on top of us before we can see it coming.


Snow and sun, Evans, WA, April 12, 2014

Snow and sun, Evans, WA, April 12, 2014

I did not see any foxes, and doubt if they were getting married—as a matter of fact, I’m not sure that foxes are common in our neck of the woods—we do see lots of deer and turkeys, and an occasional coyote. But the light of sun shining through rain mixed with snow is definitely strange, magical.

My wife and I have owned that piece of property for almost 25 years now—we bought it while we were living in Kotzebue—a place to buy a one way ticket to when they ran us out of town—a joke that would have been funny if it didn’t cut so close to the bone—but we’ve never managed to live there.   For years, we had a variety of renters in the old farmhouse—they helped pay the mortgage, but they all seemed to be troubled people—at least two died from drug overdoses, and one spent time in jail for child molestation. For the past few years—since our last renter left in the middle of the housing boom in 2007—we’ve let the place sit vacant—we call it “our cabin”—and now that we are living in Spokane, less than 100 miles away, we can visit on weekends—or during spring break. We spent the past few days planting trees (my wife’s task) and fixing the plumbing (my job)—but taking breaks to sit on the porch and enjoy the view. While digging a trench to access a valve, I kept thinking of the Towns Van Zandt song “To live is to fly”

“We all got holes to fill
And them holes are all that’s real
Some fall on you like a storm
Sometimes you dig your own

The choice is yours to make
And time is yours to take
Some dive into the sea
Some toil upon the stone

Well to live is to fly, all low and high
So shake the dust off of your wings
And the sleep out of your eyes
Shake the dust off of your wings
And the tears out of your eyes.”

Driving into the farm earlier in the week, we were playing Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere over the rainbow”—the one where he gets the words all wrong but gets the song so right—and when we left today, there was a rainbow over the whole canyon. Who knows how our lives will go—but wonderful things happen when rain and sun mix—maybe foxes do marry—maybe magic things happen—maybe dreams do come true.


Rainbow over Dead Medicine Road, Evans, WA, April 12, 2014

Rainbow over Dead Medicine Road, Evans, WA, April 12, 2014