Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Back Pages

The growing sense of a life lived upside-down, escaping the gravity and dense mass of my own history to become others experience this?

And at what point do we declare, though it is not an end, that we have our wish, the happy ending we tried for so long to cobble together - through writing, wishing, tap dancing, perfect phrases, praying, beseeching and other even more destructive and less attractive efforts.  What are the elements of a very personal happy ending:  I'm still here.  I am able to spend my time doing things which have meaning for me and make me content.  I gradually become better (by my definition) at what I do.  I have family and friends whom I love and who love me back and we speak the same language.  I am in the company of people who all keep rowing pretty much in the same direction.  The universe continues to send messages of encouragement, saying press on, its love notes, surprises and serendipity like clues on a treasure hunt.

The Byrds' unique sound carries me, pleasantly, away.

Lyrics for MY BACK PAGES by Bob Dylan

Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
Proud ’neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

Girls’ faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, though, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
Copyright © 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1992 by Special Rider Music


Erin in Morro Bay said...

Part of the happy end is looking back and realizing that not for all the riches of the world would one want to be 18 or 25 or even 35 again. Life from 60 looks pretty good, encompassing as it does all the experience and knowledge gained and still years to add to those gifts and enjoy them.

Robert the Skeptic said...

It is difficult at our age to compare our lives with those of others among us; sometimes doing so brings a bit of grief. However my wife and I like to remind each other that, if we are coveting the lives of our friends, we also would have to take on their burdens as well. That puts things in perspective and causes she and I to more deeply assess OUR assets, and therein, appreciate our fortune for what it is.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - The realization that, whatever may not be here, now, doesn't keep happiness at bay is startling, a gift in itself. All that is essential is at hand. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - I think we have long been, perhaps as long as man has existed, misled by external trappings, too ready to equate things with happiness. And we can never really know what truth lies behind facades of apparent ease or abundance. I know there is a quote that happiness is being content with what we have. Once we actually begin to take stock, there is, as you and your wife know, so much more than we thought.