Monday, July 18, 2016

Jesus in the moon

"Look attention.  Look to the left and you can see his nose, beard and eyes looking off towards the front of the neighborhood...."

"I'm sorry, Babe....I don't see nothing."

"You're not looking right.  Can't you see that one dark spot on the left side of the moon?  That's his nose...."

"I can't see it.  I think you must be more Christian than I am."

"NO, I'm not more Christian....but I spent a lot of time out behind Ma's Ma's house staring at the moon in the summertime.  And she always said you could find the face of Jesus in a full moon."

     Years later, she still looks up at every full moon and tells me "I miss Ma-Ma" (in our southern vernacular it's pronounced "Maw-Maw").  "She taught me how to find Jesus in the moon.  And we always sang old gospel songs at her piano"   Inevitably she cuts her thoughts short and says "I don't like telling you that because it makes me sad that you never really knew either of your grandmothers."  I make her feel some better by telling her that she's right, I didn't KNOW either of them.  One of them died the year before I was born.  But one lived long enough for me to see her in her last days.  It struck me (and I still  take pride in) how "Cherokee" she looked.  She says "that's why you don't ever've got that Indian skin."  I think she takes comfort in pointing out that I do have some small connection to a woman I never really KNEW...but to which I am definitely connected.

I played her one of my "long-haired" songs called "The Whippoorwill"  recently.  I told her that the guy that wrote it deemed it one of his best because it reminded him of singing old gospel music by his grandmother's piano.  She got tears in her eyes and I felt guilty because it wasn't my plan to make her miss Ma-Ma and that old piano.  She got really choked up when there was mention of 'barefoot and smiling there by the piano...."   And then I got choked up....because I could see the woman that makes it worth getting up in the morning standing there in the hot Alabama summers by Ma-Ma's piano and singing "Power In The Blood" at the top her lungs.  I haven't done much right in this life....but celebrating her birthday over this past weekend it has occurred to me that I've got great taste in women.