Sometimes Facebook is the perfect repository of dumb pictures of cats and inane political rhetoric and sometimes it is the gatekeeper of memories you haven’t visited in decades.
That is part of what made me think about San Francisco and how I realized that it might be 30 years since I last visited Alcatraz.
A different set of off hand remarks made me fall into a different rabbit hole which led to my finding Destination Unknown on YouTube.
Thirty-five years ago I sat on a hill in Ojai with a group of friends and dissected the true meaning of the song.
(You ask yourself)
Where do we go from here
It seems so all too near
Just as far beyond as I can see
I still don’t know what this all means to me
Decades later I don’t have better answers than I did then but I have had enough life experience to mostly make it work for me.
Enough so that when my daughter called me from Urgent Care I could not only relate to her concerns about a bum ankle I could also appreciate her beginning to ask bigger questions.
The kind of questions a 7th grader starts to contemplate when she knows there is only one year left before high school and the middle school magic gets a little wonky.
We’re Not Done Yet
I am working out at the gym in the complex and the 25 year-old neighbor asks to see a snapshot of my playlist.
- Sweet Child Of Mine– GunsNRoses
- No More Tears– Ozzy Osbourne
- It’s Been a While– Staind
- Institutionalized– Suicidal Tendencies
- Firestarter– The Prodigy
- Burning Love– Elvis Presley
“Dude, this is old people music. You are so done.”
I laugh and suggest he reconsider. “Generation X helped make sure you have that phone you can’t let go of and produced the foundation for the tech he can’t live without.
We’re not done yet, hell we are just getting started.”
“Keep talking old man and don’t forget to fill your Viagra prescription.”
“If only that would work for me. Trust me, by the time you are my age you won’t have any need of it.”
The Cheshire Cat grin that had accompanied his slam disappears and he asks me if I am serious.
“Why do you think you hear about so many cougars? Women need young virile men like you because us old guys are washed up.”
“You are screwing with me right? It is not really that bad, especially if you keep yourself in shape. Right?”
I shrug my shoulders and tell him to make good use of his time now.
Later on as I walk out the door he asks me again if I am messing with him.
“I never mess with anyone. It is against my religion to tease or torment anyone about anything except sports. LeBum sucks.”
He glares at me and tells me he is the greatest player in the world.
“Yeah, the greatest loser of championships. He is really old now all those championship runs have worn him out. Lebum is done.”
I walk out the door chuckling to myself.
That James guy isn’t done, but he isn’t the king either. Still a damn fine player though.
Words To Share
Back in the present I look around me and shudder at the thought of how much more crap must be waded through.
Can’t ask for help or rely upon it to be offered. Can’t know what outcome will come from hard work and best intentions.
All I can do is push ahead and quote the great poets when their words provide inspiration.
And with that I’ll leave you with the excerpt M reads in Skyfall and the film clip of her (Dame Judy Dench) reading it.
“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”