Oh, my blog.  My poor, beloved, NEGLECTED blog.  How I have missed you. 

Sorry, readers,  it’s been nuts.  You can always tell when I’m drowning- the blogging stops. And hey, thank you to those of you who noticed- you rock!

It’s been almost two months since I have posted squat.  However, I have not been idle.  I finished a novel, “Sea Strand,” have been involved in a zillion volunteer projects for my children’s schools, and am finishing up assistant coaching a season of middle school cross country.  Not to mention, I have been traveling like crazy.  In the past three weeks alone: Las Vegas, San Diego and L.A.  Fun, but hectic– that about sums up my life.

Oh, I MEANT to blog, I really did.  Ideas for posts were always floating through my crowded, addled, writer’s brain, but somehow it never happened. 

Until today.  This is a blog I have meant to write for the past three weeks and because I love Johnny Cash, it had to come to pass.

And… we’re back!

September 12, 2013 marked the tenth anniversary of the death of Johnny Cash, a man who transcends even the word “legend.”  When I was in college, I noticed something.  There was a massive  range of musical tastes amongst my fellow students, but in almost every case, whatever their preference: rock, punk, country, rap, whatever, one of the few artists we could all agree to admire was Cash.  (Another was Bob Marley.)

If you are a Cash fan, then it’s likely that you respond to his stark honesty, or deep, gravely voice, or his incredible artistry.  Maybe it’s all of those.  Maybe it’s something else.  He crosses so many genre lines, reaching straight into the listener’s heart and touching people who might otherwise have virtually nothing in common with one another.

I cannot believe that it has been ten years.  Ten years ago, in April of 2003, I had my youngest child, my daughter Anna.  Late at night when the rest of the household was asleep I would nurse her and watch music videos in the darkened family room.  One of these videos was Hurt, a simple cover by Cash.  (Hurt was written by Trent Reznor and released by his band, Nine Inch Nails in 1995.) The video featured Johnny and June Carter Cash, Johnny’s second wife, and the acknowledged love of his life.   June died in May and Johnny would follow her four months later.

It’s a cliché to say that the world will never be the same at Johnny’s passing.  The same can be said at any loss, any change, and on any day.  Yet, I don’t think I am wrong when I say that something precious went out of our popular consciousness when we lost Cash.  I think we’ll always miss that deep voice and his humble introduction, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

So, let’s remember.  Here’s Hurt from Cash’s last album before his death, American IV: The Man Comes Around, produced by Rick Rubin.  We miss you, Johnny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go

“Hurt”
(originally by Nine Inch Nails)

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

[Chorus:]
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar’s chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

[Chorus:]
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash

The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash

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