Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#196 - And The Beat Goes On

Those of you under a certain age likely won't recognize the title of this post as the title of a big 1960s hit by husband and wife singing duo Sonny and Cher. Some of a certain age may remember Cher from some of her music videos in the 1980s and 1990s where she seemed determined to find out just how few clothes she could get away with not wearing. Fewer still may remember that Sonny later went on to become mayor of Palm Springs, California and a conservative Republican Congressman. (I'm still not sure where he took a wrong turn.)

Although all of that is, perhaps, mildly informative, it has nothing to do with the subject of this post. (Aren't you glad you read this far? I know I am.) In a sense, this blog post is really about nothing. Which also means it is about everything.

If you are anything like me (and for your sake, I hope you aren't), you might reasonably expect that once you reach a certain age, life might begin to slow down a bit, and you can finally take time to stop and smell the roses. Except that life really hasn't slowed down much, if at all.

Even though our son is now 19 and could, perhaps, be expected to be out on his own or at least fend for himself a bit more, it seems we are busier than ever with him. And when we aren't, we're busy with our own activities. He always has something going on. Or we do.

The fact that our son is autistic necessitates some of our involvement, even as he resists and struggles to assert his independence, a very normal step to take once you turn 19. For us, the challenge is trying to allow him to assert that independence while also trying to teach him and guide him so that he can be more independent even as we try to direct him. It's all very catch-22.

At the same time, I am entering almost a personal Golden Age of lyric writing, writing some of the best things I've ever written at an age when many songwriters are either resting on their laurels or struggling to find things to write about. (Since I have no laurels to rest on, that is not an issue.)

On Saturday, I move another year closer to traditional rocking chair age. Yet in many ways, I'm probably more alive than I've ever been. With my wife's help, I've been able to take some of my songs from simply lyrics and a melody destined to be lost (because I don't actually write/annotate music) to actual song status and then performed them for live audiences. It has been both nerve wracking and perhaps the greatest thrill of my life.

While I may never be like Mel Brooks and be able to say "It's good to be the king," I can say it's a good time to be alive, despite all the craziness around the world. Desperate people resort to desperate acts. I choose not to reward or respond to their desperation. Despite their efforts, despite their anger, despite their desperation, life goes on for me. I hope it goes on for you as well and that you can find little things in which to anchor your piece (and peace) of the world.

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