The Whole Point of My Life Was to Meet Stephanie

Another one of those long conversations with Patrick, sharing a bottle Scotch at my dining table and talking about life, responsibility, love, and minding our own business. This one is from 7 Oct 2014 and was transcribed by Christine. The audio file is too big to post here, but if you want to hear it, I can make it available elsewhere.

Patrick: Whatever happens, happens. I did what I had to do, or what I thought I had to do, and you did what you had to do did or what you thought you had to do. And we’re still doing the same.

JP: Un-huh, yep, yep!

Patrick: And of course there’s no one to judge us except you and me.

JP Yeah. Although, I think others who, whose lives we have touched…

Patrick: They can’t judge because they too…

JP: But they will judge whether…

Patrick: Ah yeah, well…

JP: … it’s appropriate. Again, we can’t control their actions.

Patrick: I judge myself more harshly I think than other people, even more harshly than my own kids, I think.

Patrick: On the other hand, I think I have to say, the whole point of my life was to meet Stephanie.

Patrick: And I’m sorry, but all the other stuff was an issue that was just on the way.

JP: Un-huh

Patrick: Because I wanted what I found, and I thought I found it with your mother, and then I thought I found it with, with Mari and I thought I found it with Lois … and I found it… with Stephanie. At this point, Jennifer says, “I’m so jealous of Stephanie.” [laughter]

Patrick: What can you say?

JP: Yeah, yeah. I…

Patrick: But, I was a human being who was also looking for love… Just like you guys.

JP: Un-huh, yep!

Patrick: And my family is just as fucked up as your family. [laughter]

JP: Yep!

Patrick: It’s just I was innocent, escaping that family, but I’m not innocent in escaping this family. I was guilty. On the other hand, I don’t believe I had a choice at that moment. Every time I think about it, I get to the point where I drive out of that schoolyard and I have just lost my job, and my car breaks down, and I lose my job at the newspaper that night, and I’m going then to a little money in Melbourne at the Satellite lounge playing bass, and I still have to wash the diapers.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: And then I find a job in Chicago and go.

JP: Yep.

Patrick: At that point everything goes like it’s a quantum leap, and it’s a sense of freedom (long pause), and adventure, and love, and still, back there: JP, Jennifer. Oh God, you can’t imagine what it was like. I came back to visit you in the garage apartment in Melbourne, and you fell over the…

JP: Construction set.

Patrick: [laughs]

JP: I thought that was in New York.

Patrick: No no.

JP: Okay.

Patrick: Nah, I came to stay and was in the bed with Donna and you came in excited about what you’d made and you fell over it and broke it. [laughter]

JP: Yep

Patrick: Nothing’s changed!

JP: No [laughs]

JP: I tend to destroy the things I build.

Patrick: Ohh God.

JP: [laughs] …in some ways. I’m much better now at …

Patrick: That was just before I left for Europe. It’s been a long, a long trip.

JP: Yeah, a strange and wondrous journey.

Patrick: Yeah. I’m glad you’re ok.

JP: Yeah, yeah. {pause}. I’m glad you’re still a part of my life.

Patrick: Yeah {pause}. I hope you are able to eh {long pause}, make eh {heavy sigh}… find the other half of yourself … which is always, I think, by naturaleta, by nature, a man and a woman. I think it’s really, in my opinion, it has to be. I hope that you can do that.

JP: un-huh

Patrick: Because life would be so much more beautiful, that’s all. On the other hand, it’s not my business… [JP and Patrick laughs], it’s your business. I have to say eh, life with a woman is twice as valuable as a life without a woman because there are four eyes and the world is multiplied. Anyway, it’s not my business.

JP: [laughs]

Patrick: Wow! [Looking at the bottle of Scotch we’re drinking]

JP: [laughs] Yeah…I noticed the quantity there too…

Patrick: You are James’ son! [Jameson]

JP: Yes!

[laughter]

JP: Ahhh. Well hopefully you will sleep tonight.

Patrick: Well if I don’t,

JP: You’ll sleep tomorrow on the drive up!

Patrick: [laughs] Yeah, that’s right

JP: [laughs]

Patrick: If I fall asleep at the wheel—I’ve done it before—I did it twice, so I’ve… third time’s the charm.

JP: Don’t fall asleep.

Patrick: No, right.

JP: No, let me rephrase that, stay awake.

Patrick: Umm, yep

JP: And I’ll inject a penny into the [negativity] jar. [laughs] I don’t know when I started thinking about…

Patrick: Not using negatives?

JP: … trying to … You know I, there was, there was something or some… I don’t think it’s been that many years but I must have read something or considered something, I don’t know how it was, but maybe I was just thinking about verbs and I have been very negative about a lot of things and I need to stop that.

Patrick: But you don’t need to eh cram it down other peoples’ …

JP: Noooo, I know.

Patrick: I think it kind of becomes a little bit of a headache.

JP: It is, it is.

Patrick: I do the same, And Stephanie used to do it, but very gently. There’s a way of doing it…

JP: I’ve tried to start adopting a more positive outlook. I know I do it a lot with Christine and I think it’s partly because I have … for as long as we’ve know each other we’ve enjoyed each other’s company but it has always struck me as so… I guess I just wanted to share with my feeling that we need to make more positive things, just subconsciously.

Patrick: Yep.

JP: Maybe it’s something I picked up from Toastmasters too, I don’t know.

Patrick: Yeah, could be. But anyway, if you’re saying “Make it positive,” this is already a negative statement for Christine… what you’re doing is not fair… So, be careful.

JP: That’s true

Patrick: Yeah, anyway, it’s not my business, as I say. Did I tell you “It’s not myyyyyy business?” [laughter]

Patrick: I always say to my friends in Spain, Olvidé mi cremallera, “I forgot my zipper!”

[laughter]

Patrick: So, whenever you have the feeling of saying “I know more than you do by eh because you just said something you shouldn’t have said,” I always say “don’t.” It doesn’t contribute, but never mind, it’s not my business. [laughs] It is not my business. How do you say that positively? … “It’s only your business.”

JP: Yeah, that it. That’s right, this is your business. [laughs]

Patrick: This is your business [laughs].

Patrick: It’s been a good life.

A Reminder of Stephanie

Sometimes we are reminded of loved ones at the oddest times and places.

Shepard Place Shops in Carpinteria, CA

Last Wednesday I drove out to Carpinteria to help a friend cut down a dead tree, to spend several hours turning it into firewood and sawdust.

With chain saws and rope in the back of my truck, I stopped at a nearby strip mall for a phở lunch.

The name of the strip mall, as you can see here,  is Shepard Place Shops.

Stephanie sprang to mind, of course. I imagine she would have appreciated the new trees and fresh growth planted alongside the sign.

14 December (Poem by Stephanie)

Stephanie’s brother Tate sent this poem to me to share on the site. You can see the handwritten version more clearly by clicking on the images, but the copies are faded so it’s typed here as well. 

Page 1

Nobody, nobody at all
is going to care
when I die.

My brother and I were our mother’s
legacy to the world.
My father left his papers and letters to fill
in the gaps of what I know of him and what I didn’t.

I have a son alive somewhere in the world
a son I gave up for adoption
when I was nineteen and he was born a 9-month baby in the 9th
month of the year 1960

I as a child–mother gave up my
responsibility for his life.

Page 2

Where is he now?
Is he well – happy?

Nobody, nobody at all
is going to care
when I die.

No child of mine
will want to hold dear
the moments of my life.

My son – adopted
living where – how
will ever know me.

No one, no one at all
is going to care
how I lived and died.

My soul, my soul’s life
had himself made sterile.
We will have no child.

When I die
no one at all
is going to care.

Loving

In addition to Circles, Patrick, Stephanie, and Phil accompanied Lady June in this recording of Loving. Much of this recording is a Lady June poetry recitation, and the audio quality is on the somewhat abysmal side, but perhaps you’ll enjoy the pictures I put to the recording. (Many are re-used from the Circles video.)

Patrick, sent this recording to me on 22 Jan 2014 with the following description.

Continue reading “Loving”

Circles

YouTube video of a recording from Patrick, sent to me on 22 Jan 2014, along with the following description.

In 1978, before we moved to the House you all know, There was a poetry reading in the French Restaurant. It ended in a free for all between an Irish bagpiper and and Australian poet.

Before that there is this part.

I think Stephanie is performing flute in public for the first time, and I am performing on guitar in public for the last time. I believe it was this 12-string that Gretchen bust over Pedro’s head (RIP)

Lady June is singing(?) and reciting. You can find her on the web Lady June Campbell.

Homage to Patrick at 2018 Deia Int’l Music Festival

On 26 July 2018 the Deia International Music Festival will host a special concert to honor Patrick. The concert includes trios by Coleridge-Taylor, Gilchrist, Torrandell and Patrick’s friend Carl Mansker, performed by Suzanne Bradbury (another of Patrick’s dear friends), Eilidh Martin and Tom Hankey.

The concert will begin at 9:00 PM and will be held at Son Marriog.

This is the 40th anniversary of the festival founded my father and Stephanie and will be a special night to remember.

Check out the Deia International Music Festival web site for details.