Saskatchewan, Zachary Lucky
Missed Connections, March 6, 2013
Track Listing: 1. Introduction, 2. Across the Ocean, 3. Back in the Fall, 4. Leaves Are Falling, 5. Leaving Pt. 1, 6. Refrain, 7. Saskatchewan, 8. Saskatchewan (Eleanor’s)
“Oh, Saskatchewan, tell me what happened
Did you grow old? Did your hair turn grey?
Your true love has turned away
You were always trying to skip town
Your job and kids kept you around
Always lost waiting to be found
Just another face lost in the crowd”
-from “Leaving Pt. 1”
We are all from nowhere. Saskatoon. Waller County. Wood Dale and Panther Valley. We are all invisible. Unknown. Our lives stretch out like wild prairie grass across the years, across the seas, across the rolling hills and plains. Like some autumn ghost dance. Like a moon full of falling leaves. We come from worn-out Jack London novels. From Woody Guthrie songs. From forgotten Jack Kerouac scrolls unraveling and flowing endlessly down a hard and tired highway. We are the lost. The forgotten. We are the wheat shadows. Detached and lonely and running frantically under the giant stars of the night.
“I’ve crossed the wild ocean
Looking for a place
A piece of mind
I’ve been running for years now
from the home that I’ve never had”
-from “Across the Ocean”
We are the seekers. The wanderers. Artists and office workers. Singers and songwriters. Parking lot attendants and blackjack dealers. Broken troubadours and part-time shop clerks. Cigarette girls and street musicians. Hobos and misfits. Hustlers and housewives. Guesthouse guests and garbage truck drivers. We move from town to town. Place to place. Always leaving and always moving, but always coming back home again only to go somewhere else. Unseen. Unnoticed. Like the fat girl in the corner at the school dance. Like the knock-kneed boy with pimples in the second row. Like the snow-drenched Canadian landscapes no one ever truly knew existed before. But they do.
“Leaves are falling
That’s you callin’ me
Sayin’ babe, when you comin’ home
Cause you’ve been gone all summer long
I need you here, so come home”
-from “Leaves Are Falling”
Sometimes, on warm autumn days, you can see us all lying down on the cool grass by the river watching the golden leaves drop from the trees. You can see us regarding the sun as it sets across the water. If you come close, you can put your ear to our breast. You can hear our heart beat. And with each beat you can time the seconds it takes for the beat to pass, and then you know with each second, with every beat, it’s just another small chunk of time that is stolen violently away from us. And then you hear the heart again which beats on and on and on, and the seconds pass, the minutes, and another orange leaf breaks gently from the poplar branch and falls slowly to the colored earth below.
“Well I’ve been from the coast out to the plains
To Nova Scotia and back again
So seems to me your sweet song
Saskatchewan, where I belong
Saskatchewan, where I belong’’
And it is then that you realize that it’s time to leave again. Though in fact, it is not you at all who has been watching us, because we of course are imperceptible. And it is only us, alone, watching ourselves. We are abandoned, deserted, and we have to keep moving. We have to keep going. Like some weary heard of brown winter elk. Like a mystic vision of twelve black horses with manes on fire. Like a proud band of dark Lakota moving silently across the vast and beautiful land. A beautiful unseen and forgotten dance.
“And I’ve had a hard time
Makin’ up my mind
Of where I do and don’t belong
It’s not the east seas
Nor the Westerlies
Here in the plains I shall remain’’
-from “Leaves Are Falling”