09 August 2009

Fireflies and Southern Dreams

When I lived in Virginia, the one thing that seemed the most magical to me that first summer back there was the nightly appearance of the lightning bugs (or fireflies as we called them) buzzing about, glowing their glow stick bottoms amongst the branches of our giant elm. We'd go out in the backyard, especially around sunset, have a drink and sit in our Adirondack chairs on our deck and watch those little buggers start aglowin' and our Cocker Spaniel Mr. Beeb running around chasing any squirrel or rabbit or cat that happened into our enormous plot of yard. Being from California, it was like a real life Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland (in the beginning, when you're in New Orleans with all of the fireflies) but without the yo-ho! soundtrack. (Click here to see what I'm prattling on about, an example of the lightning bugs, not the ride.) Btw, click on the above photo and see if you can find the G.E. lightbulbs, the company I worked for during grad school.

Something about that magical feeling came over me as I watched Chrissy Sandman's YouTube video performing her original "Appalachia" for no one in particular. Her setting appears to be her backyard at sunset, and her voice is strong and beautiful. I think you'll like it; check her out. She's very similar to Regina Spektor, which is how I stumbled upon Chrissy's YouTube page. The birds are singing, and only a smidgen of sunset is visible through the trees behind her. It's a wonderful recording en plein air.

That's the way it is when you feel as if you have to share something with the world, even if you're not signed to a label or have a publisher or have studios knocking on your door for your latest track, opus, or script. You want to tell the world or no one in particular that you have something to say that matters; something significant. That what you have birthed is something that might indeed touch others ... if only. Chrissy's music is indeed touching, and it takes me back to a time in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have grand memories from my time in the South.

I met the best of people during law school and miss them terribly. I wish I could see them all now, even the professors who tortured me mercilessly, but whom I still invited over to our home for bbq's and coffee and late-night chats with our law school buds. I may not be in regular touch with all of those wonderful friends, but their impact upon me will never fade.





9 comments:

Caleb S. Garcia said...

Great blog sir; a beautiful intro to a beautiful youtube featuring quite the falsetto on Ms. Chrissy Sandman over there. In response to your Virginia nostalgia, it seems appropriate to paraphrase Morpheus from The Matrix, “No one can be told what the South is, you have to see it for yourself.”

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

I am long overdue in experiencing the deep South. I don't think Texas is quite South enough? I'm not finding much here as of yet that I will cherish in years to come. I really do like Chrissy's voice and she is very much like Regina S. I will be hitting up itunes to check out more of her music. Your experiences and how you described them sound wonderful. As we get older, it seems that we develop a true appreciation of the people that helped shape and impact our lives along our way.
I want to see some fireflies - as of late just have mini-bats (don't really have that same effect)!

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Oh- the more I listen to Chrissy she reminds me of Joni Mitchell. O.k., I'm showing my age now!

K. said...

I love Regina Spektor, so I'm definitely going to have to check out Chrissy...

Sandy K. said...

Yes...Joni Mitchell is the voice I recognize in Chrissy. And nostalgia is the voice I recognize in your post. People, places and things - please keep that in mind as I'll be inviting you to participate in a bit of brain food soon:).

Just last night driving home I noticed fireflies and felt that connection to summer and living in the country and being home. As much as we loved our adventure, home is...home. Great post.

JGregg said...

Indeed, Sandy, Home is Home. Gotta love home wherever you find yourself. As a multi-generation Californian, I love the West Coast, but, Virginia became home for me so quickly. I'd like to get back there someday. Glad you guys are home ... I enjoyed following your trip and send that invite whenever!

Ms. K. -- yeah, regina spektor is pretty cool. thx for checking out chrissy!

deb -- so glad you "show your age" ... we all each should embrace our own! i agree with you and sandy k. regarding joni mitchell

caleb -- thx, brother, for your kind words. look forward to reading your review of tarantino's "inglourious basterds"

Jen Zahigian said...

When I was a kid I saw fireflies in my dreams...reading your post reminded me of that. I better travel to Virginia so that I can see them in waking life.

christian soldier said...

FYI-CA friends-state is 'borrowing' from your future income:
http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/californians-lawmakers-are-borrowing.html
C-CS

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

I miss fireflies, too. Though I have never lived in the south...the last time I saw them was actually in Tuscany where they look magical among the cypress trees.