Wednesday, November 19, 2008

irreconcilable differences

Mosaic Woman and I have some.

She loves pickles and I can listen to the same piece of music over and over and over. So tonight having our studio space to myself, I went to the song I had left off at, and hit repeat. It played over and over as I cut and ground glass. And it was so so much of what I needed to hear.

There are times at work when we sit as a team to solve problems and we admit that we are failing. It is hard on this man of hope. I want to see the healing that is possible. But sometimes it is not yet the time and place for it to happen.

I recently heard that by your mid 40's you are at your peak in your climb up the career ladder. That is no surprise as I have no gumption to become a principal, but is my energy unlimited to do what I now do?

I sat on a table in my classroom as the parking lot cleared out. Wondering. Maybe it is all those, "old man" comments from my loving but mocking students. Oh, why do they take after me.

Then I came home and told the woman, who I differ from, that I wanted a coffee date before she headed out to a meeting. I walked home alone as she drove off. I hit "repeat."

I so want you to hear this, but I admit defeat. I even remembered the Joan Baez cover, but failed there too.

Here are the lyrics...
You're Aging Well
Dar Williams (© 1993 Burning Field Music, ASCAP, Administered by Bug)

Why is it that as we grow older and stronger
The road signs point us adrift and make us afraid
Saying, "You never can win," "Watch your back," "Wh
ere's your husband?"
Oh I don't like the signs that the signmakers made.
So I'm going to steal out with my paint and my brushes
I'll change the directions, I'll hit every street
It's the Tinseltown scandal, the Robin Hood vandal
She goes out and steals the King's English
And in the morning you wake up and the signs point to you

They say,
"I'm so glad that you finally made it here,"
"You thought nobody cared, but I did, I could tell,"
And "This is your year," and
"It always starts here,"
And oh, "You're aging well."

Well I know a woman with a collections of sticks
She could fight back the hundreds of voices she heard
And she could poke at the greed, she could fend off her need
And with anger she found she could pound every word.
But one voice got through, caught her up by surprise
It said, "Don't hold us back we're the story you
And no sooner than spoken, a spell had been broken
And the voices before her were trumpets and tympani
Violins, basses and woodwinds and cellos, singing

"We're so glad that you finally made it here
You thought nobody cared, but we did, we could tell
And now you'll dance through your days while the orchestra plays
And oh, you're aging well."

Now when I was fifteen, oh I knew it was over
The road to enchantment was not mine to take
'Cause lower calf, upper arm should be half what they are
I was breaking the laws that the signmakers made
And all I could eat was the poisonous apple
And that's not a story I was meant to survive
I was all out of choices, but the woman of voices
She turned round the corner with music around her,
She gave me the language that keeps me al
ive, she said
"I'm so glad that you finally made it here
With the things you know now, that only time could tell
Looking back, seeing
far, landing right where we are
And oh, you're aging, oh, and I am aging, oh, aren't we aging well?
I placed the last of the cut and cleaned pieces of glass on the pattern and sat on the stairs to listen one more time. I turned my head and there hanging in my studio... A gift from the woman, who I have so much in common with... Cross For Wayne


  1. Given that I a bit past my mid-40s and embarking on a new career, I have no idea what to do with that information. Life is a contradiction. I found my mid-40s to be more of a time of reckoning and assessment than turning 40.

    I also enjoy putting songs on repeat but my partner is annoyed halfway into the second time through. Beautiful lyrics!

  2. Kathryn--- may you, like I did last night, have moments with the repeat button.

    recently told a student my age, and was told back..."what happened to you Mr. S" do they prepare you for moments like that?

    a friend, who teaches, had quite a moment yesterday at her school. They simply can't prepare you.

    off to teach about electromagnetic waves, colors, and flowers (same lesson). and to be told who knows what in the process! Science is way cool.

  3. Yes! I, too, can listen to the same song over and over, and this one by Dar is particularly wonderful.

    I have a CD somewhere full of "secular" music that is God music to me, and this one is on it.

  4. "recently told a student my age, and was told back..."what happened to you Mr. S" do they prepare you for moments like that?"

    lol. Sassy kid!

    Cool lyrics and beautiful mosaic! There are some CD's that I put on repeat as well while I'm painting. Sometimes, that's the vehicle that'll get you where you're going.


  5. The Joan Baez music I listened to would have been back in 1961, it had House of the Rising Sun, Down by the Ohio, and my memory escapes me otherwise at the moment. If she sang this one (and I get that impression by your mention of her on the cover), it must have been in later years. Like you, though, I can sit and listen to a song that captures my mood over and over, especially if the lyrics speak to where I'm at at the time...

  6. ALL--- seems I have attracted folk who like repeat buttons.

    Mrs M--- thanks for the visit, have you blogged about that CD? I would be curious who else is on it.

    Mich--- definitely sassy, and that word at times has been thrown at me.

    Jim--- I think Joan Baez covered this 15 years +/-.


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