Friday, April 29, 2005

Karen Carpenter

Does anyone else out there still miss Karen Carpenter?

I guess I've been remembering her lately because Tom bought a box of record albums at an estate sale and inside was a tan album simply titled, Carpenters. I moved my record player up to my Dream Room so I could feel 17 again in the pink light, and my oh my, Karen spins me back to those years, or rather, to the remembered-magic of being 17. And there was a magic to being 17--you just had to brush away all the emotional stuff to find it. Some kids never find it, but I did, and it all comes back when Karen sings:

Long ago... and oh so far away..
I fell in love with you
Before the second show...
Your guitar, it sounds so sweet and clear,
But you're not really here,
It's just the radio...**

And yet... The bittersweetness gets in the way. The sadness of Karen's life, well, I hear it all over her voice and then I remember the movie of her life and all the articles I've read since her death. Yes, the sadness gets in the way and sometimes I walk over and lift up the arm of the record player and let it rest.

And in the silence I return to being 46 and a little stiff in my joints and so far away from being 17 years old in my family's house. But happy. So very, very happy because of who God has become to me and our history together. And because of this life He has given me like a present.

And slowly the ache goes away--all the useless wishes that Karen had had a happy life, too. I wish I could play her songs and feel pure, pure joy. But there's always that ache in her voice and in my memories of her.

I wish I could thank her for leaving us her music. I wish I could thank her for helping me realize that it doesn't matter what people say about the way I look. It matters only what God says--that it's my world with Him on the inside that matters most. When He and I are in harmony, then there's a harmony to my days--not always circumstance-wise, of course, but a harmony heart-wise.

Long ago... and oh so far away...

Someday I will be long ago and far away... and I pray that God will bring smiles, not sadness, not a bittersweetness to those of you who will remember me.

**Bits of Karen's Superstar and other songs can be heard here. Scroll down the page.

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