Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Time?

First Noel- guitar-Stu Johnson-Yako Organic recordings-Fiji by mainlandmoke

As the youngest child of six I watched as each of my siblings graduated High school and subsequently vanished our east Los Angeles home in the suburbs, off to start a new life far away from Mom, me and Whittier. When the end of high school drew near, there was no question about what my next steps into life would be. It was subconscious instinct that I was out of there as soon as I could. My post High school proverbial "walk about" into life had a different travel itinerary. My belongings never made the cramped car ride up the Cajon Pass and Virgin River Gorge to eventually arrive in the familiar foothills of P-town. Instead I took a Five hour plane ride over the Pacific to an Island chain I only knew as the paradise romanticized by radio promo give aways' and popular surf films. Coming off the plane was magic. The foreign combination of heat, humidity and coconut palms only highlighted my excitement of starting my long anticipated life away from Via Del Palma. This is what my siblings experienced!? This is it! Magic!
From that moment off the plane I found a new inner instinct which I believe my siblings share. To take head on unfamiliarity and make it familiar. This is what I saw in my siblings as they moved,lived and worked in "foreign" lands across the country. (Yes, to me Utah remains foreign and mysterious).
I went into this walk about of post high school life without any preliminary rules or expectations and I find no instinctual pull toward laying foundation in once familiar communities. However my heart is not completely stone as you might think. Nostalgic smells and sounds remind me of my family who I love more than anything. But why do I chose to live so far away? I would live closer but the precedent to leave as soon as possible was set before I had any real choice.
Luckily for my own sanity's sake, its rare to ever smell or hear things that would trigger nostalgic memories, instead of the sweet smell of fresh Christmas tree shaped cookies we know curry garlic and ginger. Instead of Holiday Carols we know the bass driven reggae beats of the islands. When Sufjan Stevens rendition of the First Noel came up on shuffle I was reminded that its Christmas time despite the lack of holiday decor. This is my favorite time to be with my family. And though we have all spread out and moved away from the 90602, we will never forget our home there and the familiar smells and sounds that filled the house. I don't know why we all left in such a hurry!? Cant wait for our next Christmas all together.


Allison said...

The guitar music is beautiful! Thanks Stu. Your post made me cry. I miss you too.

Erika said...

loved the song- -both Tyler & my favorite religious Christmas song.
thanks for sharing it!
we miss you!

karebear said...

So lovely - I wish you could send us a cd with all the christmas songs you play on your guitar!