It’s a New Dawn

Yesterday I drove to Sag Harbor. As I turned onto the sun-drenched blue stretch of Long Beach, I could see a corner of my friend Janine Veto’s old street and I started thinking about the days when I used to drive out to teach at Southampton College with Baby Eyrna in back, in her tiny car seat. We’d stay with Janine because my mother was so drunk I couldn’t safely leave Eyrna with her.

So I was driving and thinking about the past — how Janine has moved away, and my mom is gone and her house is gone, and my godmother Cecile sold her house this year too. Both my parents, and also Buddy, Cecile’s husband, are buried in the Poxabogue Evergreen Cemetery on the corner of Sagg Main and Montauk Highway and I haven’t been to see them in six years. Nina Simone started singing “Feeling Good” in that sorrowful, joyful, deep voice.
“Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel”It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good”Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel”Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean”And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me”Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel”

It was as if I’d heard a message from the Master Creator himself. When there is nothing left to do but go on, you go on. And every day, it is possible to change one’s attitude and approach to loss. Freedom is mine. Though, I haven’t quite learned how to sleep in peace when day is done.

Thank you, Nina Simone.

 

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