July 17th, Yes Meet Day 7



let us be together in the morning light

let us be together in the dawning light


I opened my eyes and mused, confused, in that spark of first consciousness when you become aware you are traveling and might be anywhere: where am i? I gazed at the ceiling and in my periphery a figure glided by. "Dawn?" The question penetrated the fog of sleep. "Was that you?" It was and it was great to greet her in the welcoming, warm confines of Curt and Wendy's. We began with coffee and Wendy offering tea to me, but I declined and went for the high-octane Joe, to jolt me from the stupor of a sweet, soporific state that had ended too soon.


Curt was a cut-up. He would quietly watch the direction of the conversation and pounce with some unexpectedly hilarious instant comment, propelling the conversation into a round of laughter while he kept a straight face. When Chris awoke and arose he managed to arouse some amusement without the need for Curt's rejoinder by merely standing there and displaying the shape of his mohawk-like morning hair. In his more lucid moments, Chris, sharp, but kind, was also a constant source of keen observations, as was Dawn, for that matter. In the presence of this wittily well-endowed company not a single event went without some funny muttered remark.


We tried to restrain ourselves from having too much fun until Yann had returned to the fold. We intended to phone his motel and I wanted to sing again. We all began to search our memories of Yes lyrics to find where Jon sings:


I'll be there

to bring you this love in the morning

I'll be there

to bring you the stars at night


For some reason, none of us could remember where to find these words. In the course of poring over lyric sheets, a couple other ideas jumped out at me and I managed to persuade the others instead to help me sing the a capella introduction to "Rhythm of Love." We couldn't manage it on our own. The plan was to cue up Trevor Rabin and his overdubs, then play kazoo (Dawn always keeps a couple handy for just such occasions) and sing in silly voices over the top of the noise and music. We were right in the middle of rehearsing our first "oh's" and "ah's" and "bzzzzes" when the phone rang. It was, of course, Yann, catching us all off guard and without the recording cued to the beginning. Wendy held up the phone and we just sang:


I'll be there

to bring you this love in the morning

I'll be there

to bring you the stars at night


Wendy and I went to get Yann and when we returned I offered to orchestrate the making of huevos rancheros. We needed some ingredients, so a few of us went out again, to the grocery store: Dawn, Wendy and I. A bunch of tortillas, hunks of cheese, cilantro and a couple jalapeños later we were at the check-out. When the cashier noticed the similar blonde tones to all of our hairs and the air of geniality between us, he asked if we were sisters. "Sisters in time," we told him. It was amazing to me how automatically close I felt to these women and to the men in our party alike. A mystic kinship was clear. I had suspected it would be fun and comfortable to be in this crowd, but the speed and ease with which we became a caring community was a happy surprise, further reinforcing the already friendliness.


Back "home" I noticed an unsettling segregation going on between the men and women. Why it should be that the men get to chat or smoke or watch football or even music videos, while the women slave away in the kitchen, has always been a bone of contention with me in social gatherings. I actively sought out the guys and ordered, um, invited, them into the kitchen to be part of the wonderful, creative happening there. Chris grated cheese, Dawn chopped veggies and Yann flipped the corn tortillas until they were warm and soft. Wendy located all manner of utensils for us and Curt offered to wash dishes afterwards. I conducted the symphony of eager, helpful, culinary talents and had Chris tally orders for egg specifications (five scrambled, 2 over-easy). Thanks to the willing spirit of cooperation, in no time a whole tray piled with eggs, salsa and grated cheese went under the broiler and it's savory aroma filled the air.


Wendy took one portion to the neighbor who'd donated an onion to the cause, and the rest of us settled on the deck which Wendy had decorated the night before with paper rainbow spheres, now twirling festively in the warm, bright air. (The night before the Vigs had been concerned the decorations might blow away in the in the sudden gust of frigid wind that accompanied our arrival. Wendy had wished, you see, for cooler air to condition our time together, and her petition to the powers that be was so effective we had to don coats for the first time on the Trek.) The slightly spicy repast was soon history. I was left satisfied, but mostly from a feeling for the part I'd played in providing breakfast. I was thankful for the selfless contributions of time offered by my friends in a grand gesture of communion. I felt we'd stirred the soul of togetherness, the giving thing within. Later the neighbor we'd fed approached me at the van to say thank you and I assured her that the pleasure was all mine.


The Curt and Wendy pets, Duke Dog and Chooch Cat, seemed very at ease with the invasion of their territory, so long as someone was willing to scratch their heads and address them with silly pet talk. Dawn was the Mistress of this, fan of flora and fauna that she is. She would become completely undone in the presence of whichever pet, never ceasing to amuse us all, human, canine and feline alike, with animated pritty-kitty-witty-doggy-woggy-woofy-goofy outbursts.


Yann, Chris and I reclined to look through the prototype of Wendy's poetry book, "Fountains of Gold." The poet-author then showed me her latest painting. It was an image of blue mountains that seemed the very portrayal of my sentiment while driving in the Sierra Nevada the day before. Wendy GAVE me the painting. They were *my* mountains, she said. Disbelieving as she signed the back, "to merry, love wendy," I began to cry and then hugged her. I walked in a dizzy spiral, down the hall, lovingly holding out the painting at arms length, until I came to the mantle where I set it up near Curt and Wendy's wedding kiss. The mountains would vividly glow there for the remainder of my stay, until I was ready to safely pack up the Wendywork and tenderly take it back home to hang in my bedroom. Your talent and generosity are wonders to me, Wendy -- thank you!




Wendy invited us to her friend's gallery in Benicia where her paintings had been displayed. (Most were now sold.) We had some time to kill before owner Steve Wanzell would be there to show us around, so Wendy went online and let me read some of her e-mail. Again it was fun to be occupying the space of another Yesfan's computer-based creativity. I went outside to set up my camera for a group shot on the Vigs' lawn and when we were ready to roll I gathered the gang and got into a photo. I then suggested the six of us do a pyramid and to my great delight, they were willing. Unfortunately most of the participants forgot to look up when the shutter opened, but the endeavor was documented, anyway. Nice goin', guys. It was a privilege to host the party of us in my van and it made me feel responsible for seeing to the good time vibe of all. Chris toyed with the Kalimba. I played Vangelis' L' Apocalypse Des Animaux, the cassette my Paulfriend had given me. We coasted through coastal mountain scenery and I sighed at every bend and vista. "When you live here and drive this drive often," I asked Wendy beside me, "are you always aware of the incredible beauty?" She described for me the way the rains came in the spring and turned the now-golden hills bright green.


At the gallery we met Steve and wandered around looking closely at things, allowing the intrigue over each human/divine accomplishment to capture our eyes and play with our ideas of beauty. Dawn bought a tiny painted box with a teeny pond and cottage inside, a path that went over a hill, and a yellow full moon inside the blue lid! I, too, was intrigued the work of the artist, Rebecca Livingston, who used a motif in her paintings that once had played a part in my own artistic expressions. It was the image of two hearts merging, point first, so that they formed a diamond where they overlapped. Mine also had wings. Over a decade ago I had carved this motif in copper and used it to emboss wedding invitations for my first marriage. I decided that I would send my strange metal device to Rebecca, because she might find a use for it. It would hold no regrets for her and in any case she would be surprised!


We flipped through Steve's book of photographs from his stint as a Hollywood make-up artist. Compelling images of sleek, made-up women, smartly-dressed children and bloody, bruised men made for an interesting variety of utterances as we flipped through the pages. Steve offered water all around and once refreshed we milled around the parking lot where Steve helped me set up another group photo, my favorite of the balmy bunch of us.


curt, steve, yann, chris


merry, wendy


We stopped at Benicia City Park, full of exotic trees (Dawn hugged one) and we arranged ourselves on the lawn beside a California Redwood, to play Frisbee. Yann wandered off, presumably to partake of smoke and partly, perhaps, to avoid my pleas to learn to throw a Frisbee -- these were relentless. Yann? It's easy if you remember: flat flip flies straight; tilted flip curves. While Wendy and Dawn conversed at a picnic table, Curt, Chris and I spun the disc and tried to impress one another with our moves. Curt taught me his from-behind throw and I finally, after many failed attempts, demonstrated a successful "arriving UFO" catch, bowing and using my back as a landing pad. Yann eventually returned from his wanderings and our play was interrupted by the clock. We had to get back for a barbecued dinner date with Sandy and Darrel Boyd, a most personable couple, half of which were or was a Yesfanatic the likes of us or we. Sandy is a follower of the sound that abounds in the Wake left behind by blur of the flying fingers of her precious Rickey-poo. She and Wendy had met on the 'net. They found out they'd been to the same Yes concert together and didn't know it, ABWH. It was Sandy's very first Yes concert. She made a tape of the show for Wendy, brought it up to Vacaville, and so began their history as friends.


We returned to begin another evening of music, libations and dinner conversations. Food was the first order of business, one successfully conducted thanks to Wendy's and Sandy's fearless womanly efforts in the kitchen and Curt's proficient ability to remember to turn the chicken and have inordinate amounts of musical fun at the same time. A clamorous parade of percussion announced dinner and everything was sumptuous. We teetered at the edge of the deck to see the planet Mercury, which would soon disappear behind the neighbor's roof. The local folk must surely have wondered while the celebratory sounds of singing and belching emanated from the yard of the Vigs, who were normally more conformingly quiet in their habits. The dogs next door had to have fought off the urge to howl along with us during the course of the evening.


Curt this night chose to wield his acoustic guitar with the keen green patina on the strings. His memory for chords and riffs was less rusty, though, and his fingertips were more calloused than the rest of ours, Chris' being a close second. Chris was completely thrilled to learn from him the chords to "Würm" and he also practiced the bar chords I showed him for "Your Move/All Good People" and he taught them to Curt. Whenever Curt would strum something I knew lyrics to I would begin singing. We would be suddenly performing together, which I found fun and the rest politely tolerated, a couple brave souls even venturing to shake percussion and sing along in inspired moments. David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" was a surprise to us both because I knew words he could never figure out and he could play it all. Deep into the evening beneath the clear night sky in which Wendy had delicately hung the big moon, a couple planets and many shining stars, we all joined voices in a singalong of "And You and I."


Sandy and Darrel were staying in the same motel as Yann and conducted him there around the time our tongues ceased to wag and eyelids began to close. Wendy and I stayed up and steeped chamomile tea (from my box of fresh flowers) and talked well into the wee hours.


my merry tale **** Day 8