Dearest Rachel –
I don’t often set my alarm these days, but it’s necessary on Saturdays, in order to ensure I’m there on time for the men’s Bible study (not to mention the fact that, on the first Saturday of the month – because last week was a holiday – the guys organizing it fix breakfast for us all). Granted, the alarm goes off two hours before hand, but there’s stuff to do here first. I’ve got to get in my morning reading, I’ve got to feed Chompers and get him outside – not necessarily in that order – whenever he wakes up.
And these days, as often as not, I’ve got to tell you about my latest dream, regardless of how inconsequential it might seem. Especially since the alarm broke the dream’s spell, so I have a feeling it’s going to fade faster than most times.
We were at a small venue where the Seventy-Sevens were performing. They were just wrapping up their set, and I don’t remember if they asked for requests or I simply yelled it out unprompted (and you’d probably tell me that the latter would not be out of character for me, now, wouldn’t you?) but I did ask if they would play what I consider their best song:
The crazy thing is, they couldn’t remember how it went, nor did they have any chord charts to remind them of how it was supposed to go. Eventually they found some chord charts for a similar song, and tried to sing it to that (I recall being up on stage with them, trying to sing it too, but it wasn’t the same at all, and I kept getting lost, as did they).
And I found myself standing on stage, crying, because they no longer could remember how to play what I thought was their best song. And that’s to say nothing of the thought that (I think at this point I was aware it was a dream) at least one of them was no longer here on this earth. But it’s possible I may be getting that confused with The Call. Because I know their lead singer passed away nearly a decade ago at this point.
It’s weird and scary to realize that the men and women who created the soundtrack that we grew up to are starting to pass away from natural causes (as opposed, say, to members of the 27 Club, for example, where the members lived so hard, they could barely make it out of their own childhood). Among the likes of the latter, it’s amazing to realize that Elvis has been dead as long as he’s been alive, as has John Lennon; at the same time (to consider the former group), Lennon’s bandmate Ringo Starr just turned 81 the other day, if I recall correctly. Eighty-one.
These guys aren’t gonna live forever, any more than any of us are, but it’s really weird to be so conscious of that now. Of course, your passing brought that into sharp focus for me: anyone can go at any time, and if there was really such thing as ‘equity,’ I’m clearly living on time that isn’t mine any longer as I was – and will always be – older than you ever would be.
(You hear that, BLM and CRT supporters? if you want to be equitable to my wife, you’re gonna have to pull a Logan’s Run-type scenario on everybody over 50. Believe me, I’m not signing up for that.)
I figure there must be a reason for that, and maybe someday I’ll puzzle it out in front of you. I expect to get it pretty well wrong, though – it’s not wise to guess the ‘why’s, after all.
Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my head in the quiet of this morning. Just the usual weird stuff, I guess. Sometimes I wish I could wake up with happier thoughts, but the end of that third verse stands out in stark relief these days.
Say “hello” to Michael Been for me, honey. Oh, and Keith Green, Rich Mullins, and especially Mark Heard while you’re at it.