Big horns and light.

“The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down, You can’t let go and you can’t hold on

You can’t go back and you can’t stand still, If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will

Won’t you try just a little bit harder, Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

Won’t you try just a little bit harder, Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

Round, round robin run round, got to get back to where you belong

Little bit harder, just a little bit more, A little bit further than you gone before

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down, You can’t let go and you can’t hold on

You can’t go back and you can’t stand still, If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will

Small wheel turn by the fire and rod, Big wheel turn by the grace of God

Every time that wheel turn ’round, Bound to cover just a little more ground

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down, You can’t let go and you can’t hold on

You can’t go back and you can’t stand still, If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will”

— Lyrics and melody by Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia — The Grateful Dead.

Which brings me to this.

For some reason I started poking around in my own past. It started by listening to a lot of Grateful Dead on three cold and rainy (the snow came, but on the Northshore) days. Somehow the Dead triggered thoughts of people in the past.

I decided to Google one of them.

He and his girlfriend (now wife) actually brought me to the band. In 1970. What I found made me sad. It’s not what you are thinking. They appear to be fine. They own a fabric company. Something like my parents used to own. They have been on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles for years.

They were there at a time when I worked and lived in the city. They are in the very neighborhood in which I traveled because a lot of photo companies were there. Film developers, camera rental companies, prop companies.

I never knew. I never even thought about it. We didn’t have falling out. We went to different colleges. To different worlds. But, dammit, forty-five years has passed. True, the last time that I lived there, the internet was barely a thing. We still sent telexes rather than emails. But, we had these things called telephone books. I could have looked, but I just didn’t.

That damn wheel. It’s always turning. It never slows down.

The picture. It’s from the last second that I photographed. May 2017. Big Red Cotton’s second line. She was shot in the Mother’s Day second line mass shooting a few years back. She was seriously wounded. After three years of living in pain and new surgeries, she finally passed. Her spirit was strong. Her body couldn’t hold out.

I reworked the picture to be brighter. More “heavenly” like angels horns. Yes. I dropped that little burst of light in there. It just enhances a natural burst of backlighted reflection, which is really what the picture is about. Reflections.

That damn wheel. You can’t go back. And, you can’t stand still.

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8 Replies to “The Wheel”

  1. Beautifully artistic photo. I love what you did with the light and color.
    The song lyrics remind me of a recurring dream I have in which I am going up a steep hill and am two thirds of the way up and realize I can go no further, but I can’t go back down either. Stuck in a state of panic. Then I wake up!
    Time really does fly by. Old friends are gradually moving on and we are still here.
    Also reminds me or the Circle Game song by I believe it was Judy Collins.

    Like

    1. Thank you. That seems to be my life right now. Sheesh. Circle agame was written by the best of them , Joni Mitchell, in response to Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain. Don’t ask me why, but I know a bunch of useless stuff.

      Like

  2. Me too. In 1970 I saw them at the Hollywood Palladium. Three days later I was at Tan Son Nhat airbase. We were going to see the best version of the bands the followed — Dead and Company — here a few nights ago. Unfortunately, John Mayer had an emergency appendectomy. They postponed until Feb 24, two weeks after Mardi Gras. Now that’ll be fun. 🙂

    Like

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