There’s no crux of the matter.  No one defining moment.  It’s merely a matter of focus.  What your eyes freeze on.  It depends on if you read with imagination, or if you’re tired and just say the words.  No examples needed.  No story.  No conflict depicted in scenes.  You know when a world deemed good seems bad.  When a world deemed bad seems good.  Your hypocrisy acting like you never knew when it happened—when you notice it.  When the lies in one are the truth in another.  You become an observer, and ultimately you see you’re just a part of it.   All of it happening.  All the contradictions.  And when you see that you’re not threatened.  You fear no evil…  I guess what I know now is that I know.  I know what happens to a soul damned in love.  That unique position we’ve all felt.  In that moment before freedom.  I know the laws I live by are death.  They define my death.  But my spirit will not be defined.  It can’t be told what to do.  Only when I let it be told do I feel fear.  What’s wide and narrow in the path.  An infinitely small destination that somehow still leads me to it when I answer the moment.  Every moment becoming defined when I reach it.  I just a part of all of them.  Witnessing being destroyed and reborn…   But the memory—it’s still there.  No amount of water can wash it away.  No baptism of fire can purge the past.  It burns forever.  And what I do is listen to it as if I hear still waters.  I listen to the birds praising the lord of song and my soul is restored, it’s somehow restored by this, in where my spirit leads me…  And that’s why I think back now.  To when I first met her.  To when I first wanted her to be my wife.  And if I’m honest with myself I know I wanted to be destroyed by her.  I wanted to be damned for loving her.  I wanted it because it was what I was supposed to want.  I knew it in my belly.  My heart defiant enough to say it would be strong, contrite enough to always want truth—knowing always this was the truth…  I saw a big dog the other day being walked.  It was a morning in the fall.  I left Bethany in our Soulard apartment, crocheting shoes for the baby, and took a walk through the streets after writing some notes for a song.  I was by the window and saw what a beautiful morning it was and laid my guitar down, kissing my wife before I left, resting my hand on her belly.  And I saw this big dog (I don’t know what breed it was) pulling his master along.  I saw the anger this caused in the master as they walked the sidewalk on the other side of the street.  The master was smarter for she held the leash.  But that big dog was stronger.  And maybe by instinct he knew—the dog knew it was angering its master—and rather than being choked by his eagerness he changed his step and began to walk with his master.  And I don’t know—maybe he thought he was pleasing his master by leading the way, following smells, but in the strain he learned.  He learned what causes anger in being a pet.  I watched it happen, walking the other way, lighting a cigarette—I saw the dog strain, the face of the master, and how they began to walk together.  It made me think of the song I was writing.  In how I noticed it—put it into focus.  I saw the compromise, not just because it was convenient—they were happier this way, the dog and its master—they knew their roles, and they hardly even noticed this when they walked together…   This was the world I saw for a moment, and I thought of my wife at home, the child on the way.  I saw this moment and wanted to be defined by it.  And so I hurried home.  To look into my wife’s eyes.  And not just say the words…

            –David Threnody, on Bethany’s pregnancy—from his journals 1948 to 1955

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