It was likely Esther Forbes’ Johnny Tremain that turned me into a Revolutionary War-era nerd when I was in elementary school. Something about the patriotism and the coming-of-age, call-to-adventure nature of this old-school YA book made this gem of historical fiction resonate with me.
I was looking through my old photographs of Boston and realized how much I missed the city I barely knew. For me, it was a place of reformation, a new start as bittersweet as offering cheers in a bar where nobody knew your name (that is where the original bar is from, you see). The unknown I felt there from the uncertain future fades now into the past, joining with the vast memory of places I have been…
“I think I need a new town to leave this all behind…”
I first saw Augustana perform at Slim’s (where my band will be playing next week, by the way), then at Café du Nord and finally at the Fillmore. My ex had been a huge fan of the band, so of course I tagged along to all their shows. While I was impressed with all their songs, “Boston” was always the one that stood out most for me (and apparently to everyone else since it was their single).
“I think I need a sunrise… I’m tired of the sunset…”
But “Boston” may hold even more meaning for me now, in retrospect, since the city now literally provides for me the song’s lyrical concept of new beginnings. I had gone to a place where (almost) nobody knew my name and left it all behind.
“I hear it’s nice in the summer…”
And now, so many years after visiting Boston and even more since I last saw Augustana perform the song, I feel a need for change again… as I reminisce on two wholly separate memories that have somehow found their connection…
“…some snow would be nice.”
Words cannot describe how meaningful it was for me to quit my job and backpack the East Coast. I will never forget the places I saw, nor will I stop loving the people I encountered (unless, of course, I suffer a case of explosive amnesia). Words cannot describe the change that occurred within me those three weeks, but if I had to try, it would go as follows: