original painting by Brooke Harker. Available at Lu Martin Galleries in Laguna Beach, CA.
In this painting, a taxi passes through the jewelry district in downtown Los Angeles. I wanted a title which reflects how all moments are transient. When my neighbor suggested “Passing Through,” the tune and lyrics to a song returned to me immediately.
When I was sixteen years old, I shared custody of the album “Just Passing Through,” by Dianna Knight, with my best friend. We’d seen the singer/songwriter live in a Minnesota coffee shop. I hadn’t heard her music in years, but the words resonated with me again.
To the best of my recollection, (with the disclaimer that I’m known in my family for messing up the words in songs) here are the lyrics:
“When I was a child Daddy said to me, ‘Little girl, don’t let them get you down. There’s more to life hurting….the road sometimes ain’t easy, but there’s a choice you have to make –you can sing to the moon and dance to the dawn cause your just passing through. Just passing through this world –little girl don’t let them fool you–there’s more to life than crying and breaking your heart in two and it’s not like you… Don’t give up…You gotta hold on true…You’re just passing through.”
Prior to remembering this song I’d been stuck a bit in my head over how to complete several paintings. The message in this song reminded me that we only have a limited time on this earth, and perhaps I could take myself less seriously. A burst of nostalgia for how I’d once seen the world accompanied me as I painted, along with a sense of surprise for how the same lyrics could help me all these years later.