I don’t mind telling you it’s been a rough couple of weeks here at the old homestead. Not physically so much as mentally. This semi-isolated state many of us are living in and through can wear a person down. We wonder, in our air conditioned hermetically sealed houses, if things are ever going to get back to normal. The kneejerk reaction is “Of course they will. Sure, they can! This country has been through worse.”
And while that’s likely true it’s hard to focus back to the struggles our parents of “The Greatest Generation” had to endure. Or the trials of our grandparents waiting in breadlines to feed their families in The Great Depression. Seems like every time we suffer some outsized national emergency, we slap the word great on it, perhaps as a defense mechanism to bolster our crumbling psyches. Perhaps with the hope that elevating a past crisis will bring inspiration to overcome the dilemas of our own time.
We all know what’s going on. The streets are unsafe. The airwaves are unsafe. Hey, breathing is unsafe. Many of us are, more or less, trapped in our own homes waiting for a cure, a reprieve . . . or maybe just Godot.
I’ve been struggling what to write about this week. The easy essay would be a political one condemning one or both parties for the mess we find ourselves in. Continue the finger pointing. Throw another log on the flame and then add some lighter fluid for good measure.
But at the outset of this blog we set as a goal to try and maintain a healthy distance from political discourse so From Here to Eternity could be a haven in the storm from that which so bitterly divides us.
On the other hand, I couldn’t quite latch on to any idea that would make you or me laugh. It seemed a bit frivolous to bring the silly or whimsical into a moment that, in my heart at least, feels so heavy and laden with serious concern and angst.
What then to write about? Well, maybe this week’s post is not so much about entertaining you as us just spending a few moments together. I mean, the laughs and delight will surely flow again. Just not today.
Maybe this is simply a time to rest.
That’s what I need right now to counter all the focus on COVID, Congress and conflict. A little something simple and good. Is that so much to ask? I began thinking about a song. A favorite of mine from Anne Murray, recorded in 1983. I tracked it down and played it. Then I played it again . . . and then once more.
I know I needed to hear that song as much as anything pressing into my “busy” schedule. The words are not so clever you get whiplash from their phrase turns. The arrangement is simple. The melody would have never made Marvin Hamlisch envious. But together the package has always been an encouragement to me.
And since it had been a few years since it had popped up on my 13,000-song iPod playlist this felt like a very good time to get reacquainted with an old friend.
So, I’m sharing the song below through the magic of YouTube. Just a simple idea for a complex time. Come back after for a final idea.
One more thought. As Shannon pointed out to me when I suggested this song was good medicine for me this week… she said it didn’t strike her so much as a cure for what ails but, instead, wishful thinking than anything else. I had to think about that and believe she may be right. Nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking, but if that’s where you leave it then maybe it’s a little like playing the card game Solitary. It passes the time, but where is the progress? Where’s the gain? What’s the point?
So instead of retreating back into the turtle shell, maybe after listening to this song you’ll think of someone you know who could use a little bit of encouragement, a little bit of hope that might be found in this short recording. Maybe you’ll copy the blog link above or forward the post to someone who may not be experiencing such a great week. Or month. Or YEAR. Sometimes there can be solace in the heart of a simple country song.
Of course, if you meet someone on the street, face to face, mask to mask, you’ve can’t very well forward a link and expect to make their day or impact their life. But you can use the hope you may have found here to speak a simple, good word into a life. Sometimes a gentle kindness like, “I love your hair” or “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” is all that’s needed to break through walls to an isolated soul. And from there you might just find a little good news to share.
Be well, everyone.
Black and white photo
courtesy of Sasha Freemind