“i still miss someone…” -johnny cash

June 25, 2008

i’ve been listening to johnny cash a lot lately. no surprise. there’s something about that voice. especially as he got older. it’s been almost painful to listen to the change in his voice, from younger to older as the albums progressed. there’s such a darkness and comfort in his voice. everything he sings sounds like your grandfather is saying it to you as his last words of wisdom on his deathbed. i’ve loved johnny cash for a long long time now. grew up on him. named a fish after him. when i listen to him these days, it makes me actually feel like i miss him. is that really weird?

his voice is simply familiar and honest. honesty. that’s it. there’s so much honesty and simplicity in his voice. and pain that comes from years of experience. i remember the day he died. i was driving to tallahassee for a game weekend and when i walked into my friend’s apartment, he casually told me johnny cash had died. i sat down very quietly. then i kinda felt out of place… mourning a loss that no one else in the room seemed to feel. and i sat in front of the tv where they played the video for the song “hurt” which was on his american iv album. beautiful song. yeah, i cried. i remember that moment so well. 

and then american v came out shortly after. which was eerie. i was in nashville with dear dear friends. the album hadn’t come out yet, but one of the guys worked at great escape, the local record shop. he had gotten a pre-release copy and we sat in a van and quietly listened to the entire album. just sitting in their driveway watching the lightning bugs. every word seemed like i was reading the journal of his last days. he knew he was sick and dying. and that’s what the album is about. it’s about his reconciliation with death, his love for june, and his Lord. beautiful album. but one that i only pull out when i’m ok with mourning the loss of someone i loved. someone i never knew. 

maybe that’s really weird. sorry if it is. but there will always be something about johnny cash that will be home to me. something that will always break my heart. something that will always be comforting and familiar. 


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