Listening to a song

photo of an Ohio barn by Sylvia

I listened to the same song on repeat for hours today. Wandering through the lines, the verses, the melody. A parallel universe where i am eternally 15. A slim body, a full heart, life stretching out before all of us, long and lush and infinite. The opposite of this reality where age has been unkind and the only lines i see are under downcast eyes and my aching and tired heart beats irregularly—stands before me in stark contrast. All the people i loved that went away, went away forever walking into death head-on, like deer in front of trucks on the turnpike. There they are alive and laughing, in this parallel world, telling jokes, being young. I smoke another cigarette and watch the sun set on a cold November evening, the trees in black silhouette against a grey sky, blurred through my quiet tears, my chasm of pain and loneliness. I want to reach through time, yank them away, shout and scream and plant my feet on solid ground, love again and want again and breathe again. There we all are, frozen between the notes, the saxophone solo, the lines we all sang together in unison. We were invincible in our youth and ignorance. And yes, i want to climb into the velvet voice, that voice that is also gone forever, and use it like a blanket—a soft everlasting, warm blanket of hopefulness and love that is not only missed, but misplaced. 

29 thoughts on “Listening to a song”

    1. the song is “Lover” by The Michael Stanley Band
      when he reached the line “thank God for the man who put the white lines on the highway” we would all (thousands of people in the audience) sing that line together…I still think of it when I drive down a highway at night.

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  1. Poignant nostalgia, Sylvia. Learning to love the present moment in all its forms… not as easy as it used to be. The strength of youth and the strength of age are two very different forms, though pull from the same well. ❤

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    1. Hey Beck, we were supposed to have met in Ohio a couple weeks ago…what happened? we dropped the ball. Give me a call if you’re going to be around for Christmas. I miss you dear friend.

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  2. This went right into me, Sylvia. Thanks for giving the title above. I now have to listen to it. Isn’t it amazing how some songs can do that to us?

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    1. Just came back from listening to the song. It is definitely a driving song. I can see how it would make one introspective. Thanks for the introduction and your beautiful prose that came from it.

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      1. This afternoon, after reading these comments, I went on YouTube looking for Michael Stanley singing Lover. And amazingly, there he is in 1981 at Blossom in Cleveland on a warm summer night singing with the band…and I was there in the audience that year as I was every summer after 1980 until 1986 and then beyond 1986 at other venues.

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  3. I like the barn photo and the way it seems to tip over as the ground rises behind it. About the writing, I am sorry you are sad about it – it’s all a mystery. We don’t choose to arrive, and mostly we don’t choose to go. In between we make very few choices that are not governed by desire and avoidance, led like animals with rings through our noses.

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