Heart of Glass (Rememories 5)
Jack Johnson and his family on bicycles being some of the first people we see upon arriving in Honolulu for a solo show.
Getting to tell Jack Johnson that we saw him the day before when he comes back to say hello after the show. Which he had bought tickets for.
Friendly, talented, and genuine, Jack is.
Finding out my brother was having serious heart problems from my sister on the phone backstage at an outdoor venue in Montana.
As I’m hanging up, I see a car slow down and stop on a service road parallel to the security fencing. A man gets out and starts running towards me shouting my name.
Against my normal instinct to hide I wait for him at the fence. He says he wants to give me something.
Still shaken up from the news of my brother’s grim situation I wait as he runs back to his car to retrieve the item he wants me to have.
Before unveiling my gift, I’m told a bit about his personal history and how my music fits into his personal salvation. Short story. Did a lot of drugs. Ended up in jail. Got clean (with the help of Sky Blue Sky he says.) Learned the art of glass blowing in prison and now teaches glass blowing to prisoners. As he talks, I begin to really feel connected to the guy. Can’t explain it other than maybe family was already on my mind. Whatever it was, this man and his story started feeling like it belonged to some shared family history. My mother collected glass paper weights when she was alive and his mention of glass blowing had surely led my mind to her memory.
I started picturing the color red as he talked on. My mother’s favorite color. I pictured the countless ruby red glass eggs, globes, and obelisks that occupied entire shelves of her collection. Before he stopped talking I knew what he was going to give me. I could see it clearly in my minds eye.
I’m not particularly prone to this type of thing. I believe in a lot of things. When things get outright magical I resist. But here’s the thing—I love that we can have these moments that might be better explained by the reality that coincidences occur and the world would be much weirder if nothing ever lined up in lovely serendipitous circles and parallels — moments that nonetheless feel profound, meaningful and outside of normal explanation. I think it’s important we remain open to these moments. Recognizing that we sometimes need things to NOT just make sense. We’re desperately in need of experiences that blow our minds with wonder and humble us back into our place in the scary beautiful cosmic mystery we’re all blindly swimming around in.
He hands me the gift he brought with him to the show in the hopes that we’d meet.
Slowly unwrapping a heart sized, crimson, hand blown glass paper weight.
My dead mother’s heart. My sick brother’s heart. My sister’s heart. My heart.
It’s on my amp every night.