Yesterday I read that Mike Nesmith died. I broke down in tears and just cried for what seemed an uncomfortably long time. I suppose he was most famous to the world as one of The Monkees. He was “most famous” to me as my first rock-star crush. I had every album. The edges of every one of them was worn and frayed from being held and gazed upon for many hours, song after song after song, daydreaming of the love and life that might one day be mine…

…I don’t live a life anything at all like those adolescent daydreams so long ago, and I don’t think I would enjoy it if I did! I’m not that little girl anymore, and much time has passed. 🙂 Still, to this day, the songs resonate with me. I’m listening to them now, on a long haphazard playlist yanked from YouTube, honoring the loss of a human being so dear to me… though we never met.

Listening to The Monkees, I hear where some important details of “who I am” may come from. Reluctant heartfelt departures? Check! Be sure to say gentle good-byes to the ones you love. Striving for perspective and balanced discourse? Saying I’m sorry? Being willing to change? Check! The Monkees shared an approach I didn’t see modeled at home. (I sure wouldn’t mind being able to do the song-and-dance thing, too… might lighten a tense mood? lol) Frustration with my origins in a wordless way that my adolescent mind did not understand how to express? Even that – The Monkees understood what I was trying to say. They “got me”. It was 1967. I was not even adolescent when The Monkees were on t.v. – the first time. Their music and sketches from their show settled into my consciousness pretty early on. I sometimes wonder if those of us on the tail end of the “baby boomer” generation – not quite a proper “boomer”, not quite Gen X, are more properly The Monkees generation, born to a world with television, and eager consumer minds right at that time when our formative malleable young consciousness ripe for “product placement” was feasting on … The Monkees. 🙂

Hell, for all I know, the earliest seeds of my utter lack of monogamy, and my long-time comfort with polyamory, may also source with those early years, clutching my record albums, seething with hormones, unwilling to really “choose” from among the “pre-fab four” – life with The Monkees looked like a proper romp! Surely there was room for me, with them…? LOL I wasn’t really thinking about sex in any explicit way, just thinking it would be rude to bust up a tight friendship when I really dug them all equally well. lol

Anyway. I’m okay, you know? It’s just a moment. A wee bit of a sorrowful celebration, saying good-bye to “old friends” who meant so much more to me than I had ever really reflected upon so deeply. I listen to Last Train to Clarksville again… the number of times I have happily sung this song at the top of my lungs on a long drive, to stay awake… this time it just sounds like “good bye”, and I cry a bit more. It’s okay though; nothing to be ashamed of in honest heartfelt tears. My Traveling Partner comes into the studio on a practical matter. He’s kind about my moment. I hear Mickey Dolenz remind me to begin again, to move on, to take that next step… they got that before I did, too, but the mere presence of this music in my mind for so long may have made it a bit easier to get my head around new practices, and new beginnings, when I needed to most.

What music moves you? Where do you come from, creatively? What are the songs that fill your heart, and provide a soundtrack to your dreams? The music you first danced to – as a toddler, perhaps. As a tween, certainly. It’s part of your “core programming”, probably. Have you looked it in the face and asked yourself if it became part of your path in a positive way – or if it may be something holding you back? Maybe it’s a good day to listen to the band?

Papa Gene’s Blues begins to play. I think of my life now. I think about my good fortune in life and love. I think about my Traveling Partner on life’s journey. I think about a second coffee, and I think about beginning again. Thanks, Mike.

Bonus track – one of the most fun tracks ever recorded masquerading as a song. 😀