Day 9 Columbia, MD, 610 miles
For those of you who’ve read “My Story” on http://www.kencoulson.com, you know that I was born and raised in Columbia, Maryland. Coming back here today brought a flood of nostalgia. I spent the afternoon driving around pointing out my high school, first girlfriend’s apartment complex and visiting my childhood home. The mighty hills of my early bicycle days have all shrunk to my far reaching psyche. I struggled to regain the awe of my childhood days. The hours spent lost in my head and the woods behind my house on Babylon Crest… We, the rulers of ‘Bomba Fruit’ land, and its strange yellow fruits with the life sustaining nectar… These were the fantasies of a young boy, dreaming in ‘Avatar’. As I looked upon my backyard, the fence my Dad had so stubbornly maintained on the weekends now bent, broken or missing altogether. I remember how he would mow the lawn religiously, with beer and cigarette, and get stung by bees over and over. He just plowed right through them until the repeated exposure to their toxins left him with a bee allergy. I kept thinking there was a message in that story, like that was his time to decompress, and he wasn’t going to let a few bee stings deter him.
The Second Chance Saloon and the Ice Rink, the bookends of a remade Oakland Mills Village center, still stood. I remember my first female temptations at the ice rink, chasing the cute girls around the ice, but brushing by them, still too afraid to talk to them. ‘I’ll say hi next time’. Ah, the beauty of innocence.
We had dinner with the closest of family friends. Time apart cannot divide what love has fused. I was surely overwhelmed. Life etches its lessons on a person: like water, in time, over stone. We are still made up of the same things, but the lines of experience are unmistakable. We had all lived at this table. And loved. And lost. Degrees are semantics when dealing with existence, so I do believed we all loved each other at that table. The energy was unmistakable to any around us. Parts and extensions of 4 families that had decided to journey through much of life together sat together once again. We laughed and smiled and time stopped, as it does in these situations. I’m crying at its beauty. Maybe it’s not deep enough to describe this feeling as America. I was, however, able to escape without my friends revealing to Tracy too many embarrassing stories of my adolescence…
We met most of the folks in the Saloon and remarkably, more than half of the people were new to Columbia. I remarked at this beautiful observation, “Excellent, we’ve got no social barriers in this room”. Isn’t that one of our key problems, the ingrained social hierarchies in community, designed to keep you where you are? As I’ve written, this tendancy of humankind forced into the competitive consumerist mold has and will continue to destroy communities, creativity and artistry everywhere. I rage against this as hard as I rage against anything. Just saying, there nothing more beautiful than our individuality, when shining inclusively and with respect of everyone around us. It’s called the light, and once you step into it you’re unlikely to go back. It’s going to bother people, it’s going to help people, it’s going to change positive and negative alike. I am a dreamer and a warrior for Peace and I just keep thinking that by the time I wake up, things just might be different.
Second Chance Saloon, Columbia, MD
Letters of My Youth
Amie (PPP) >>
The Way >>
That’s Some Dream (Good Old War)
10,000 Words (Avett Brothers)
Posted on December 15, 2011, in Gatsby's Green Light, Sonic Bomb, WinterTour2011 and tagged Columbia MD, Gatsby's Green Light, GGL, Jelle, Ken Coulson, Kenneth Coulson, Music in Columbia MD, mysonicbomb, OCJB, Second Chance Saloon Music, Sonic Bomb. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.