A bit of Jackson Browne.

A couple of weeks ago, I drove alone to Dallas to spend some time with my friend Meredith and my friends Lina and Wegs, pictured here (just because they are so stinkin’ cute).

On the trip up, I found myself listening – really listening – to some CDs that I had in my car.  When I drive, I always have music playing but often it’s background noise. It’s not usually the center of my attention. On this drive though, it was.

I posted a bunch of lyrics on Facebook as they struck me. (Yes, I did this while driving. Sorry, Erin.)  The posting started with a line from “These Days.”

Last night, my friend Don, through his girlfriend Cynthia, introduced me to a Jackson Browne song I hadn’t heard. It’s apparently one he wanted played at his funeral. It’s called “For a Dancer.”

The entire song is beautiful and worth a listen.  But the lyrics that really struck me are:

I don’t know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening

And I can’t help feeling stupid standing ’round
Crying as they ease you down
’cause I know that you’d rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(there’s nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that you’ve been shown
By everyone you’ve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another’s steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone 

When I love something I read or watch or listen to, my measure of love is often the degree to which I wish I’d written it.  I wish with my whole heart that I’d written “For a Dancer.”

I thank Don and Cynthia for the song.

The song sent me searching for other things Jackson Browne. I don’t know why, but I assumed he was no longer living. Maybe I thought that because his words seem to wise that I had convinced myself that he was super old. He’s not. He’s very much alive and still playing music, and I intend to see him in concert one day soon.

Post some concerts, Mr. Browne.  I’m ready.

(And for those of you who endured my Pissed Off post, I trust you gather than I’m in a much better place now. I’ve done yoga twice this weekend, once alone and once with Poppe. I got to swim and have breakfast with Jeanie. I talked to Pete and started making plans to visit him, Teri and Marylee in Houston.  I had lunch with my sister Marline. I also spent some time at a wake for Don where people got up and said things about him. I couldn’t speak, but in my heart I was thanking Don for voicing words of acceptance to me long before I even knew I needed acceptance. It’s been a rich weekend.)

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