Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hope That We Can Be Together Soon

"'Hope That We Can Be Together Soon' is a song recorded Sharon Paige and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Released in 1975 from their album To Be True, it reached number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart in the summer of that year. It also reached forty-two on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] Unlike most of the group's singles from this time period, it's Melvin who handles most of the vocal duties, while Teddy Pendergrass appears for one line and the closing part of the song. Paige would later take on a more prominent role in the group after Pendergrass left the group for a solo career.

The song was originally recorded in 1970 by Dusty Springfield as "Let's Get Together Soon" and was included in her album A Brand New Me (which was also produced by Gamble and Huff)."(Wikipedia) Song Lyrics

Kai's Thoughts:

I heard this song today while driving home from LAX. The opening echoes and drums made me smile and lean back. I was in traffic, but I was cruising. It took me back to my childhood, the moments when my Dad would drive. He would always lean real far back in his seat. He suggested I get my lean on too, but I couldn't find that kind of cool calm then. Today I found it and I nodded my head. I hope that we can be together soon. This song brought back memories of the weekend afternoons when my mom would sit and write letters to my father in prison. We would write him together. Recently, I wrote a letter to my father and posted on Facebook. I started thinking about the ways I have been able to come into the understanding of myself as a writer and how that had to be influenced by these letter writing years. 

I remember my father's handwriting, so pretty, and smooth, but also bold. He wrote his words like he played his guitar--sweet and funky. My handwriting hasn't improved since 3rd grade, it was the only subject that I got a S in (S's were the equivalent of C's). Sometimes my dad drew cartoons and those always made me feel like we really had the power to connect and create our own world despite bars and distance. My father wrote those letters to us with passion. After reading the letter I recently wrote to my father, he responded by saying that my letter felt like it was one of the letters he would send from prison. He said he had to put his everything into those pages to keep from being lonely. We always hoped that we could be together soon. We had dreams of togetherness for our family. 

I remember back then, me and my mom went for a conjugal visit (we spent the weekend I think). It was the coolest thing ever for me because I actually got a chance to hug my Dad. My mom was so happy and so in love--yes, my father had/has a way with words. My mother did/does too. Those words, those cartoons,  those letters kept us connected during those visits when we couldn't touch. I remember the phone and the thick glass that separated us. This may have been the pre-technology for  Skype.  I remember another prison where there was a huge table that divided us. The inmates were all on the inside and the families sat on the outside. I remember how wide that table was. I remember wanting to jump over and run into my father's arms, but I also remember all the guards and their weapons. I remember the unease of my father then, the opposite of his gangsta lean. It was hard to build intimacy there, with all those folks around surveiling us. We could only hope to be together soon. This song makes me think of those letters between all of us, mom, dad, and me. I like to reread the letters that I have kept from time to time. I wonder if my Dad still has the letters we wrote to him. Letter writing has been added to my meditative practices along with hiking these days. Letters are a powerful way to connect to those who we might not be able to touch otherwise. I think of those loved ones locked up, but also the ancestors that have gone on. Thanks for teaching me how to find myself. Thanks for teaching me how to find freedom. Thanks for teaching me how to find you and us despite the many barriers that try to keep us apart.

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