Reflecting on the past, can resemble a long stretch of unpaved, rutted road. Wheels churning loose gravel, tires not touching the ground. Spinning in an arc, watching life swing by in the opposite direction.
The measure of time is not the ledger sheet of credits and debits, but it is influenced by gains and losses. Living through challenge and wearing the scars like battle ribbons.
As the number of gray hairs take over, there is kinship in a song written by a very young Jackson Browne, who somehow had the insight to write about experiences he hadn’t yet lived through. Gregg Allman and Glen Campbell, who each had traveled some hard miles, gave vibrant color to the song, shades of life they had earned, as each recorded a version of this song.
Well I’ve been out walking
I don’t do that much talking these days,
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to
And I had a lover
It’s so hard to risk another of these days,
Now if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
Well it’s just that I’ve been losing for so long
Well I’ll keep on moving, moving on
Things are bound to be improving these days,
One of these days
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend
Don’t confront me with my failures,
I had not forgotten them
by Jackson Browne
So there it is.
Actions not taken, chances missed, disappointments. Eyes burning with experience glow back from the mirror.
Like Frank said, regrets, yep, had a few.
Bruised, worn, but still an ember of hopefulness.
Picking ourselves up, looking the day straight-up, moving forward, if by inches.
There are family who cut a wide path, past lovers still frowning in mystery, and trails scattered with bones and memories.
Things never said, letters not returned, lonesome sunsets watched in silence.
Mistakes made or things that had to be, bright candles exhausted, pained goodbyes.
When the last shovel of dirt packs the resting place, is the road at an end? Or will there be remembrance in verse?