PJC: “Always On My Mind”

Today is March 9th.

3 years ago on this day, I lost the man who had the greatest impact in shaping the woman I am today, my Dad, Patrick “Pat” Clinton.

Today, the music in my home, my car, my ears, my voice… Is the music I danced to in my early childhood, holding my Dad’s hands and standing on his feet as he taught and guided me through his favorite 2-step:

Honeysuckle Rose (1980)
Honeysuckle Rose (1980)

Willie Nelson, in particular, the album Honeysuckle Rose. “On the Road Again” was the theme song I sang from my seat in our family car, nearly every Friday evening as my Dad drove us from our apartment in NYC to the small log cabin on Kemah Lake, NJ.

Dad taught me how to fish on this lake. And to this day, I’m thinking my (unofficial) record for the biggest large-mouth bass caught in Newton, NJ still stands:

My Lunker, age 4 (1977)
My Lunker, age 4 (1977)
with Grampa Vince & Gramma Marie Clinton, Dad, & Sam

Then came The Teen Years.

And it’s funny… the father-daughter dynamic, in particular when said father and daughter are both such headstrong personalities. My Dad was an October Scorpio. I am a March Aries. So right there, anyone with any inkling of Astrology knows: Never a dull moment. 🙂 I’m pretty sure a portion of Dad was baffled by and mourned the loss of his self-proclaimed “Daddy’s Girl”. Headstrong, I’m telling you. Both of us.

Yet he and I got through them; who ever won those tests of Wills? I’m thinking it was an overall Draw.

Dad, Me, Ball (circa 1979)
Dad, Me, Ball (circa 1979)

Dad was the first one at the hospital for the birth of my first child, his first grandchild, my daughter Marie. And I was blessed to see a new dynamic to an ever-evolving man. He LOVED being a Grampa (less stress, more fun!).

Dad with Mars (2005)
Dad with Mars (2005)

And he adored each grandkid during the decade-span of their arrivals. Becoming a parent myself gave me a greater empathy and understanding for my own parents, which forged a new bond between us and strengthened bonds formed years prior. Dad and I also also discovered we shared a love of the artwork of David Tineo, which also forged a new communication pathway through art between father and daughter.

La Lunatica by David Tineo
La Lunatica by David Tineo

The 13 months he battled brain cancer gifted me with yet another insight to my father’s character:
The strength of his love for my mother, his partner, his friend. That year was probably the most difficult year I’d experienced in my life at that time, as his daughter — also a registered nurse — who couldn’t do a damn thing to stop the inevitable.

Dad, May 2012
Dad, May 2012

I could only offer help from a physical distance: Montana and Arizona never seemed so far apart as they did that year. I resented and hated the fact that I couldn’t be there for his appointments, so I could channel that feeling of powerlessness into something productive to help my Mom & Dad. But that was probably one of those disguised blessings, for I would have driven them both batshit crazy had I actually lived that close.

So the candle I light today is for you, Dad, in gratitude and love. Our relationship wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but it was strong, it was true, it was love, and it was ours. I am blessed. I love you, I miss you. You are always on my mind.

Dad in Cody, WY
Patrick J. Clinton

1934 ~ 2013

PJ: “Unthought Known” – LOVE!

So I saw this tweet from Pearl Jam this morning… and thought, what a fantastic way to start the day!

I love this song. I love everything about this song. And the album it’s on, Backspacer? INSANE! Words cannot express just how outfuckingstanding be this album.

PJ Backspacer 2009
When I first heard “Unthought Known”, it brought up goosebumps in the Good Way. There was something extra special about this particular song that called to me on the Soul Level. Yet several years went by before I realized its personal significance; before I connected it to that amazing someone very close to my heart who is the embodiment of this song for me.

We may walk through each other’s lives with barely a whisper, hardly a sound; connecting only through our eyes, our souls… and keep walking – “2 Ships”. And it’s okay, because the Knowledge itself is a Blessing. I am so very glad you are here. ? ?

Unthought Known

All the thoughts… You never see… You’re always thinking…
Brain is wired… Brain is deep… Oh are you sinking?

Feel the path of every day… Which road you taking?
Breathing hard… & Making hay… Yeah this is living.

Look for love & evidence… That you’re worth keeping…
Swallowed whole in negatives… It’s so sad & sickening.

Feel the air up above… A pool of blue sky…
Fill the air up with love… Oh Black w/starlight…

Feel the Sky blanket you… With gems & rhinestones…
See the path cut by the Moon… For you to walk on…
For you to walk on.

Nothing left… Nothing left…
Nothing there… Nothing left…

See the path cut by the Moon… For you to walk on…
See the waves on distant shores… Awaiting your arrival.

Dream the dreams of other men… You’ll be no one’s rival!
Dream the dreams of others then… You will be no one’s rival.
You will be no one’s rival.

A distant time… A distant space… That’s where we’re living.
A distant time… A distant place… So what you giving?
What you giving?