Martha

Peter wrote from Colorado to tell me the story of his old flame, and how the years have not erased his feelings. He wanted to give a bookmark to someone he hadn’t heard from in many long years, to remind her of the passion for books that the two young lovers had shared.
How could he tenderly rekindle those memories?
The touching words of the old Tom Waits song, “Martha” came to mind, and inspired me to make this bookmark… with one tiny, final surprise.

This is what we do…

Ognuno ha il proprio passato chiuso dentro di sé come le pagine di un libro imparato a memoria e di cui gli amici possono solo leggere il titolo.
Virginia Woolf

A yellowed picture, an old concert ticket, a postcard faded by time… what’s left in the pages of your diary? Peter jealously guarded the story of his love for Alice in the pages of his memory. At times when everything seems uncertain, confused or troubling, the mind returns to feelings that never sleep, and we see ourselves together, as we once were, with the desires, hopes, dreams, beauty and naiveté of when we were young. In those moments our youth comes intensely palpable as we call to mind those glances, feelings, books, poetry, music, love and passion.
We wish we had said the things we never had the courage to say, but time has passed, a long time…
Peter’s story touched me deeply and brought back many of my own memories. I wanted to imagine Peter and Alice speaking the words they might have used back then. So I borrowed the lyrics of a song. I tried to erase the distance, and pretend their lives were intertwined once again.
It’s the story of a memory that cannot be forgotten, and of a time that no longer is and for this very reason, it cannot pass quietly into history.

 

Operator, number, please
it’s been so many years
will she remember my old voice
while I fight the tears?
Hello, hello there, is this Martha?
This is old Tom Frost
and I am calling long distance
don’t worry ‘bout the cost
‘cause it’s been forty years or more
now Martha please recall
meet me out for coffee
where we’ll talk about it all.
And those were the days of roses
poetry and prose and Martha
all I had was you and all you had was me
there was no tomorrows
we’d packed away our sorrow
sand we saved them for a rainy day.
And I feel so much older now
and you’re much older too
how’s your husband?
And how’s the kids?
You know that I got married too?
Lucky that you found someone
to make you feel secure
‘cause we were all so young and foolish
now we are mature.
And those were the days of roses
poetry and prose and Martha
all I had was you and all you had was me
there was no tomorrows
we’d packed away our sorrows
and we saved them for a rainy day.
And I was always so impulsive
I guess that I still am
and all that really mattered then
was that I was a man
I guess that our being together
was never meant to be
and Martha, Martha
I love you can’t you see?
And those were the days of roses
poetry and prose and Martha
all I had was you and all you had was me
there was no tomorrows
we’d packed away our sorrows
and we saved them for a rainy day.
And I remember quiet evenings
trembling close to you…