This post is dedicated to my friend Marty, who passed away May 21 from a serious illness. He was my age-ish (young!). We shared a deep love and respect for the awe-inspiring talents of Porcupine Tree and its alchemist, Steven Wilson.
(This post is referenced at the Love Thursday feature of chookooloonks.com)
When my three (and a half!)-year-old, Pumpkin, gets picked up from a hard day at preschool, he can be a bit tired. Of course this fatigue tends to manifest itself as whining, or crying over nothing. If he's whining, crying, or otherwise kvetching and there's no pain or threat to him, I've been known to react to such conduct by ... laughing at him.
I picked the kids up yesterday, and as I was buckling them into their car seats, my six-year-old, Einstein, asked for macaroni for dinner. Pumpkin had already begun whining about something so I thought I'd egg him on. "I was thinking of making you a big bowl of mud. With worms! Yummmm!" Pumpkin, who was most certainly not in a joking mood, responded with an emphatic "NOOO!"
"Oooo ... and maybe some beetles!" I said, smacking my lips. "They crunch when you eat them, yum, yum!"
"Nooooooo!" responded Pumpkin.
Behind me in the car, Einstein made this a conspiracy against the scowling tot. "How about some tasty grasshoppers?" he suggested.
"NOOOOOOO!!!" The tears were starting.
At this point, the CD in the stereo started playing Porcupine Tree's "Lazarus,"1 and if you play the video below you'll get the idea of the atmosphere created thereby. I heard Pumpkin say "Mama, this is a sad song." He's a sensitive kid and minor keys are something else that can make him cry. (It is, in fact, a sad song, but a lovely one, in contrast to PT's heavy full-rock-out material and their spacey stuff.)
Einstein was touched by the song's mood as well. After 30 seconds or so of driving, during which Pumpkin seemed to completely calm down, I heard Einstein say, "Mommy, look, I'm holding [Pumpkin]'s hand."
I'll never forget it.
1 I realize that Lazarus was a New Testament character, but I'm in denial about this, just like I have always denied that C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia are about Jesus. When my mother called them "Christological" I decided that she meant "Crystal-logical." Why not?