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“Almost Home:” My Figure In a Series of Landscapes

I’d never heard of the song or seen the video until November 7, 2019. Yet as I watched it began to dawn on me that through whatever series of odd coincidences I have been — at one time or another in my life — physically present in a close equivalent to every scene in the video. Present for those in black and white as well as those in color…

TODAY, viewing again, I’ve still been in them all:

The room with the upright piano on a ranch in Yreka.

Standing in front of the Minnesota lakehouse posing with that big fish caught at the lake in that paaaast gonnne year.

Trying to get the drunk on Boston’s winter sidewalk into a shelter.

Walking to my father-in-law’s Park Avenue triplex in the snow.

Sleeping near, never under, the cottonwoods on the Green River in Utah.

The brindle field with the black cattle in the highlands of Scotland.

The cascades of California poppies on the spring hills near Nevada City.

The white house by the tree in Newport, Rhode Island.

The rocker on the porch above the University at Berkeley.

The wicker baskets full of freshly picked berries at the summer camp in Butte Creek Canyon.

Riding in the back of the old pickup with my first dog King on the way down to swim at Nelson’s Bar on the north Feather River.

Fishing off the dock at the Maine lake with the red and white bobber on my line.

Standing on the stile going over the barbed wire fence in the Colorado ranch’s field.

Vintage kitchens in Fargo with cobbler baking in my grandmother’s old oven.

The tire swing my father made for me in Paradise. The tire swing I made for my daughter in Southport.

Plunging into ice-cold creeks on a hot hot summer day.

Fields with rolls of freshly mown hay somewhere in the midwest.

A long cool lawn behind a New England house.

Park Avenue quieted by the drifts of blizzards.

Fishing with my brother from a leaky rowboat.

Dandelions blowing in the breeze.

A dry dirt road winding between trees in the ancient olive orchards near Lisbon.

A high mountain meadow somewhere near the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland.

The cool, cool shade in the long backyard as the summer night rises up out of the shadows.

The far fields where we ran long into that summer night pretending not to hear our mother call from the house, “All in free! All in free!”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Terry November 8, 2019, 5:14 PM

    In dreams we can almost make it home. In daily life going back home is an illusion. Home is not there anymore.

  • Mary Ann November 9, 2019, 5:55 AM

    The word HIRAETH comes to mind.

  • Rob De Witt November 9, 2019, 9:12 AM

    All my life my heart has sought
    A thing it cannot name….

  • James ONeil November 9, 2019, 10:23 AM

    Based on my perspective, having eight decades behind me, I have to allow that by the time a guy gets seven decades behind him, especially the last seven decades, it get pretty hard to look at just about anything and not say; Been there.
    Done that.

  • Vanderleun November 9, 2019, 10:43 AM

    You got that right, O’Neil. That’s why I was onto close equivalents.

  • James ONeil November 9, 2019, 11:08 AM

    There are exceptions that prove the rule Gerard, I gotta admit I never ever, not even once, put a running dildo in a guy’s desk drawer. 😉

  • Vanderleun November 9, 2019, 2:33 PM

    But you will given half a chance.

  • Mary Ann November 9, 2019, 6:06 PM

    I just have to say…I just love all of you here.

  • Casey Klahn November 11, 2019, 5:58 PM

    I loved that song and even the heavy nostalgic note. Yours is a life well lived, Gerard.

    In this romantic song of yesterlife, there isn’t much that really approaches the homelessness situation. Danger, violence, cold, sickness, abuse, drugs, alcohol, mental illness. It is a shit sandwich that never ends. The ones you see aren’t even the worst of them. It’s the ones stuck by the river who don’t come out to be seen.

    Sorry for this rain. But rain is my memory of home.

  • gwbnyc November 13, 2021, 9:52 AM

    Local, around since +/- February ’20.
    A handsome man, tall, and out of his clothes occasionally. Beyond remote; silent.


    -viewing his foto I’m reminded of a point in my life where I snapped out of it just long enough to say aloud, “You have size sixteen feet and you’re looking at owning one shoe.”

    Just as quickly I went back.