A Child’s Prayer Rings True

It is late.

Maureen has taken her bath and gone to bed, where i should be with her. Sarah is in her bed, probably doing some web thing with Billie, her loving dog, curled by her side. The fire in the fireplace is just smoldering embers.

i have been working, shotgunning on many things when not working on my book.

Earlier, i stumbled upon one of my all time favorite movies, “The Bishop’s Wife,” the original with David Niven, Cary Grant, and Loretta Young. i pretty much stopped everything else and watched straight through while Maureen multi-tasked reading on her Kindle or working on something on her laptop, something i am incapable of doing, never have been able to watch television and do something else. When the movie was over, as usual, i felt warm and good inside. My kind of movie along with oaters.

Maureen reminded me we will go to the symphony tomorrow, the San Diego kind featuring a violin concerto, #5 by Mozart and Dvořák’s Symphony #6. Thursday, i’m pretty sure i’m going solo to another San Diego Symphony performance of Purcell, Vivaldi’s “Winter” from The Four Seasons, Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Bach’s Concerto No. 1 in D minor, and Strauss’s Pizzicato Polka featuring Avi Avital on the mandolin.

Blythe Jewell holding Evan Fraser on Orcas Island, 1982.

We are booking our seats for Dirtwire’s performance at the Music Box in downtown San Diego in mid-January. A member of the band, Evan Fraser is the son of one of my best friends, Cyril Vaughn Fraser III, who grew up in Old Hickory established a Vanderbilt record similar to mine, and now lives on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound. Evan is not only almost kin, he is one incredible musician playing all sorts of exotic instruments from many lands.

And of course in early October, we made our annual journey to San Francisco to attend the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park with our friends Alan, Maren, and Eleanor Hicks, along with Cy,  not to mention our other 750,000 friends we meet every year.

As i write, i am listening to my collection of 45 RPM records, converted to digital. It is old rock and roll and rhythm and blues.

The eclectic nature of my music interests is pretty wide, i thought. i blame it on WCOR AM & FM. That is where i played the Top 40 on weekends on AM; played classical, semi-classical, and jazz on weeknights; and listened to country all the time because that was the bulk of the music slate on WCOR AM.

i am glad i somehow gained that appreciation. i am not an expert in any of those genres, but that is pretty much the story of my whole life: jack of all trades, master of none, except i think mariner/ship driver is where i did excel.

It is good.

In a few moments, i too will be hitting the rack (Navy term, and if you ever saw enlisted berthing on Navy ships in my early USN days, you would understand where the term came from. If i am still pumped, i may have a bit of a hard time actually getting to sleep. So i will resort to my mantra:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I ‘wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

It is the prayer i uttered since early memory for more than three thousand times. i now say it in my mind on a loop until i fall asleep.

When i said it at my childhood twin bed on the north room of the upstairs on Castle Heights Avenue, i don’t recall being one bit concerned about the second two lines. i do now. It has more possibility now. i am surprised some politically correct, well-meaning bozo hasn’t attacked it for being scary to children. Perhaps someone has and i just don’t know it. There are a lot of things i don’t know i prefer to keep that way. This is one of them. There are also a lot of things i know i wish i didn’t.

But for now, i think i will just remember:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I ‘wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

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