Wooden door ajar in old brick wall


Words by: Pam Nelson  |  Music by: Tim Tompkins


Memory, be no empty glass.
Hold, along with tears and laughter,
Children playing, summer grass,
Dusk and the moon thereafter.

Memory, be no way-less wall.
Leave some latchless gates ajar
Or chinks through which a child may crawl,
Chasing a ball or star.

Memory, through you every phase,
Flowing with water’s fluent ease,
Bring freely forth from other days
Their best to merge with these.


This lyric is one of five journal entries that a co-worker, Pam Nelson, offered me for setting to music in the spring of 1979 when I was falling in love with Frances, another co-worker at The Skills Center sheltered workshop in Santa Cruz, California. We have entirely lost touch with Pam, so she has never heard the song, not with its original piano arrangement nor with the expressive Roy Malan string quartet of UCSC and sung by a woman with just the voice and interpretation to bring the words to life: Olgalydia Urbano. I hope Pam gets to hear it. She certainly earned the lyric credit. We will be grateful for any help with that from the world of interconnected people. [Tim]

Performance/Production Credits:

Olgalydia Urbano……Voice
with the inspired Roy Malan String Quartet of UCSC
recorded May 12, 2007, at Gordon Stevens’ Open Path Music Studio, San Jose, CA.
Masterfully engineered by Scott Sorkin for the right balance of bleed and isolation to yield both unity of the ensemble and “mixability.”

Mixed at the GallopAway Music studio in San Juan Bautista, CA, with a touch of Melodyne.
Mastered by Joe Weed at his Highland Studios in Santa Cruz County, CA.

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