“Love, oh love, careless love”
– Everyone looks beautiful at the funfair,
even the man who runs the waltzerThanks to Bessie Smith for the song & Carter’s Steam Fair for the flashback moment.
But it wasn’t Bessie Smith I was thinking of when we walked up to the funfair with the grandchildren today. I’ve spent a rainy week cooking preserves and reading the kind of Chinese poetry that weaves impermanence and loss into a robe. If I had to choose an avatar right now it would be this heron; a bit solitary; cranky; often alone; watching and listening.
Something powerful and irreversible lit up in my mind the first time I heard the Everly Brothers sing Cathy’s Clown, above the roar of the generators spilling across Rodway Hill in the dark from Rogers’ travelling fair. It was an old school fairground, rich with diesel fumes and pheromones; a daze of intense movement and light surrounded by summer nightfall and scary as hell. I don’t think I’d ever felt so alone or so alive before. ‘If this is what growing up is like‘, I thought, ‘bring it on‘.
It was my first lesson in loss; going back the next day to find nothing but tyre tracks and patches of yellow grass. RIP Don Everly it was your best ever performance..