Posts Tagged ‘life’

The night before last, I attended a concert from The Alan Parsons Project.  For years, I’ve maintained I don’t listen to the lyrics of songs.  The other night I was reminded that hasn’t always been the case.  As the songs were sung, I found myself singing the lyrics, though it’s been over 20 years since listening to Alan Parsons Project on a regular basis.  Then a realization washed over me, that many of the songs I was singing seemed to be about the way I’ve lived my life.  I wondered what effect the music had on me — a profound effect, I think:

Days Are Numbers

The traveler is always leaving town
He never has the time to turn around
And if the road he’s taken isn’t leading anywhere
He seems to be completely unaware

The traveler is always leaving home
The only kind of life he’s ever known
When every moment seems to be
A race against the time
There’s always one more mountain left to climb

Days are numbers
Watch the stars
We can only see so far
Someday, you’ll know where you are
Remember
Days are numbers
Count the stars
We can only go so far
One day, you’ll know where you are

The traveler awaits the morning tide
He doesn’t know what’s on the other side
But something deep inside of him
Keeps telling him to go
He hasn’t found a reason to say no

The traveler is only passing through
He cannot understand your point of view
Abandoning reality, unsure of what he’ll find
The traveler in me is close behind

Days are numbers
Watch the stars
We can only see so far
Someday, you’ll know where you are
Remember
Days are numbers
Count the stars
We can only go so far
One day, you’ll know where you are

Silence and I

If I cried out loud
Over sorrows I’ve known
And the secrets I’ve heard
It would ease my mind
Someone sharing the load
But I won’t breathe a word

We’re two of a kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I
We’ll find a way to work it out

While the children laughed
I was always afraid
Of the smile of the clown
So I close my eyes
Till I can’t see the light
And I hide from the sound

We’re two of a kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I
We’ll find a way to work it out

I can hear the cry
Of the leaf on a tree
As it falls to the ground
I can hear the call
Of an echoing voice
And there’s no one around

We’re two of a kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I
We’ll find a way to work it out

Time

Time
Flowing like a river
Time
Beckoning me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river
To the sea

Goodbye my love
Maybe for forever
Goodbye my love
The tide waits for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Goodbye my friends (goodbye my love)
Maybe for forever
Goodbye my friends (who knows when we shall meet again)
The stars wait for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Forevermore
Forevermore

Old and Wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to know
You’ve always shared my deepest thoughts
You follow where I go

And oh when I’m old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they asked me if I knew you
I’d smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be lifted from my eyes
Oh when I’m old and wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You’ve always shared my darkest hours
I’ll miss you when I go

And oh, when I’m old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like autumn winds that will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they ask you if you knew me
Remember that you were a friend of mine
As the final curtain falls before my eyes
Oh when I’m old and wise

As far as my eyes can see

After the concert, I moseyed over to the souvenir table to see what was available, and found a boxed set of CD’s containing all of Alan Parson Projects albums.  I decided to buy it, and I’ve been listening to the CD’s while I drive around.  More soul searching to ponder over why I’m the way I am….

 

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CA San Diego 1979

So, this was me, back in 1979.  I was 17 years old, having just finished Navy boot camp and started my basic electronics training.  I spent my first four months in the Navy on the Naval Training Center base.

The last two days, I’ve returned to the former base (yes, it was shut down during the post cold-war military drawdown).  All but for the medical clinic, which still belongs to the Navy.  Yesterday I’ve been working at the medical clinic.  In the middle of the building is a courtyard.  Yesterday, walking across the courtyard, I seemed to have this foggy recollection of standing in the courtyard once upon a time, as a member of a recruit training company.

The former Naval Training Center has been turned into a community called Liberty station.  There are many new houses designed to look like the historic buildings of the original base.  And, those old Navy training facilities and buildings are also there.  When I was in boot camp, there was this mock ship, USS Recruit, nicknamed USS Neversail, where we recruits learned Navy skills like line handling and seamanship.  Unfortunately for me, I went to boot camp at the end of the 1970’s.  Anyone who was around back then might remember the military was always short of money.  Actual ships and equipment needed for the national defence were often in a state of disrepair.  Even more so for the Naval Training Center.  I remember the day my company was to have gas mask training — the tear gas trainer was out of order.  Darn!  I never got to take my mask off in a tear gas-filled room and breath in ’til my heart was content.  Well, when my company was supposed to play on USS Neversail, we couldn’t because it was falling apart and was deemed unsafe.  Then, the 1980’s and President Reagan came along.  Apparently USS Recruit benefitted from bigger military budgets like the rest of the Navy.  It was repaired, and even though the base was shut down in the 1990’s, USS Recruit is still around, looking good.  yesterday I took a few pictures.  Here’s one:

CA Liberty Station (3)

USS Recruit sits on the edge of a cul-de-sac with several hotels, a bunch of restaurants and a community center that looks like it might have been the Naval Training Center’s chapel.

Today during lunch, I decided to drive around Liberty Station and see the sites.  I saw the grounds where we endured our physical training sessions.  I drove by the old open bay barracks I stayed in just after boot camp graduation (which my stepmom’s dad also stayed in during World War 2).  I drove by the old headquarters building, which seems to be an office building now.  I drove by the former mess hall (or galley) where my first store-bought combination cap was stolen by some other sailor.  I drove by the building where I learned electronics, now a charter school.  I drove by the old Navy Exchange building, which is now a mixed-use retail and office plaza.  I decided I’d come back after work and walk around that area.  This turned out to be one of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited.

The plaza consists of individual buildings connected by outdoor walkways.  The plaza has a Trader Joes and a Von’s supermarket.  The Von’s is the most awesome grocery store I’ve ever seen.  The store appropriated two of the old Navy buildings and the courtyard between them.  One building was for produce and cooked foods.  the other building was for non-perishables and liquors.  The courtyard was for flowers and a coffee shop.  Along the various walkways in the plaza, I saw restaurants, nail salons, insurance agencies, travel agencies, banks, fountains, offices.  A high school jazz band was giving a concert in another courtyard.  Again, I had the foggy recollection of walking the corridors in another time.  The surreal feeling I had was accentuated by the fact my blood sugar was getting very low and I was getting light-headed.  I found a nice restaurant and had dinner.

CA Liberty Station (5)

Then I left, driving to my hotel.  This will probably be the last time I’ll be in San Diego.  So, I started my adult life and electronics career here.  My electronics career is ending here — I’ll be starting a new job on Monday dispatching field technicians, no longer doing electronics work myself.  I will no longer be traveling for work anymore, either.  I’ll be going back to Kansas in a couple of days, probably never to return.  I like Liberty Station.  If there were a job in San Diego for me and I could live and eventually die in Liberty Station, I’d be a happy(er) fellow.  My adult life could have bookends!

dream

I was dreaming I was at a dinner party, talking with several coworkers and I began having a heated discussion with one of the women at the table.  She said I’d missed my skinny chance to ask her out once, and I challenged her to tell me when she’d ever given me a skinny chance….

Then I woke up.  It was 7am, but I didn’t want to get up yet.  I thought a while about the dream and my thoughts drifted to the movie Searching for a Friend at the End of the World.  I thought about who I’d want to spend my last few days with.  Of course I would want to be with my daughter, but what grown woman?  I know who I’d choose, and wondered who she’d choose.  Based on how our relationship had developed after we’d met, I figured her choice wouldn’t be me.  It was depressing to think that at the end of the world, I’d be on my own.

I fell asleep for a while.  When I woke up, it was time to get up for church, but I lay there in bed, refusing to crawl out from the covers.  When I woke up again, it was time for my daughter to get up for church, but I still lay there.  For a change, I decided I wouldn’t be waking her up.  Someone has sold her on the idea that Jesus’ story has no meaning for her life.  Lately I’ve wondered how forcing her to get up to sit in a pew and listen to something she’s closed her mind to would help her appreciate Jesus.  I hope she’ll realize one day how beautiful His message is, but for now, she’s listening to someone else.

I got ready for church and left her a note saying where I’d be.  At church, I had my usual two cups of coffee, so I was all jittery (as usual) by the time the sermon started.  This Sunday, one of the congregation talked about the importance of community.  He talked about how he’d remained part of the church community because he didn’t want to end up alone.  Sigh — didn’t really make me feel any better about being on my own, but his sermon was a good one that made me think.

Well, I went home and woke up my daughter.  We had lunch and I took her home to her mom’s.  I took a long way back to my apartment — one of the things I like doing when I’m feeling down is driving.  I watched the Chiefs game at home.  Their victory made me feel a little better.  After the game, I worked out.  And then after showering, I started watching the Denver game.  At half-time, I drove to Applebee’s and had the Fiesta Chicken Chop Salad, one of my new favorite dishes.  After dinner, I drove to the grocery store and bought a few things.  Then I returned home to finish watching the Broncos lose their game.  By bedtime, I was back to my cheerful self.

Usually, being on my own doesn’t bother me  — I’ve even arranged my life so my chances of meeting and spending time with new friends would be nil.  I’d rather deal with the occasional pang of loneliness than the recurring beat-down from rejection or even worse, never being able to tell where I stand with someone.  Relationships have caused me pain, and they’re something I just don’t want in my life right now.  I’ve written earlier, posing the question whether I was a rock and an island.  I think for the time being, I’ve become both.

Zombie

Head in Hands

 

I remember when I was a kid spending hours reading Guinness Book of World Records.  I was inspired by the people who achieved greatness through ability and practice, reaching the pinnacle as the world’s greatest.  Sadly, the only time I hear about Guinness any more is when they’re in town to certify a world record as a huge crowd of people does something simple and silly to get into the book.  I think this is an indication of how our civilization has evolved — rugged individuals to a lazy flock of sheep.  Why work hard toward a goal when you can carry a guitar into a stadium and strum the strings when an Elvis song is playing on the loudspeakers?  I can understand feeling good about being in the crowd, screaming when the Guinness folks certified the stadium as the loudest stadium in the world — maybe that’s just it — in the past, there were winners and losers.  Winners feel good; losers feel bad.  Nowadays it’s important everyone feels good about themselves, about everything.

I don’t feel good about myself about everything.  I’m good at some things, but obviously not the best, since I’m not in the record book.  And I’m bad at some things.  I take pride in doing things well when I can, and I feel bad when I fail.  Guess I’m old-school about that.  You are always better than someone else at doing something, but there is always someone better than you.  The idea everyone needs to feel good about themselves all the time disappoints me, because I think it leads to losing touch with reality, to a false sense of entitlement.

Take this blog for example — it’s a masterpiece!  But there are better blogs.  😉

love-story-stick-boy-girl

I’ve written about this before, I’m sure.

But it amazes me how I can go from this:

ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION

I Am So Into You

When you walked into the room There was voodoo in the vibes
I was captured by your style
But I could not catch your eyes
Now I stand here helplessly
Hoping you’ll get into me

I am so into you
I can’t think of nothing else
I am so into you
I can’t think of nothing else

Thinking how it’s going to be
Whenever I get you next to me
It’s gonna be good, don’t you know
From your head to your toe
Gonna love you all over, over and over
Me into you, you into me, me into you

I am so into you
I am so into you, ooh

Songwriter(s): Dean Daughtry, Robert Nix, Buddy Buie

Copyright: Sony/ATV Songs LLC

Into this:

BOSTON

Long Time

It’s been such a long time
I think I should be goin’, yeah
And time doesn’t wait for me, it keeps on rollin’
Sail on, on a distant highway
I’ve got to keep on chasin’ a dream
I’ve gotta be on my way
Wish there was something I could say.

Well I’m takin’ my time, I’m just movin’ on
You’ll forget about me after I’ve been gone
And I take what I find, I don’t want no more
It’s just outside of your front door.

It’s been such a long time. It’s been such a long time.

Well I get so lonely when I am without you
But in my mind, deep in my mind,
I can’t forget about you
Good times, and faces that remind me
I’m tryin’ to forget your name and leave it all behind me
You’re comin’ back to find me.

Well I’m takin’ my time, I’m just movin’ on
You’ll forget about me after I’v e been gone
And I take what I find, I don’t want no more
It’s just outside of y our front door.

It’s been such a long time. It’s been such a long time.

Yeah. It’s been such a long time, I think I should be goin’, yeah
And time dosnt wait for me, it keeps on rollin’
There’s a long road, I’ve gotta stay in time with I’ve got to keep on chasin’ that dream, though I may never find it
I’m always just behind it.

Well I’m takin’ my time, I’m just movin’ along
Takin’ my time, just movin’ along
Takin’ my time, takin’ my time…

Songwriter(s): Tom Scholz
Copyright: Pure Songs, Next Decade Entertainment Inc. O/B/o Pure Songs

It isn’t that I’m fickle.  Between one frame of mind and the other, there’s a lot of reflection, revelation, resistance.  Constantly hoping something nice will happen — until something inside me just clicks and I realize the other person will never see in me what I see in her.  I let it go.

BOSTON

Don’t Look Back

Don’t look back, a new day is breakin’
It’s been too long since I felt this way
I don’t mind where I get taken
The road is callin’, today is the day

I can see, it took so long just to realize
I’m much too strong not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I’ll turn it around

I finally see the dawn arrivin’
I see beyond the road I’m drivin’

It’s a bright horizon and I’m awaken
I see myself in a brand new way
The sun is shinin’, the clouds are breakin’
Cause I can’t lose now, there’s no game to play

I can tell there’s no more time left to criticize
I’ve seen what I could not recognize
Everything in my life was leading me on,
But I can be strong

I finally see the dawn arrivin’
I see beyond the road I’m drivin’

Don’t look back, a new day is breakin’
It’s been so long since I felt this way
I don’t mind where I get taken
The road is callin’, today is the day

I can see, it took so long just to realize
I’m much too strong not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I’ll turn it around

I finally see the dawn arrivin’
I see beyond the road I’m drivin’

Songwriter(s): Tom Scholz, T. Scholz

Copyright: Pure Songs, Next Decade Entertainment Inc. O/B/o Pure Songs

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Boston is one of my favorite groups.  Many of their songs capture the way I feel at times, but they contain many references to the road, which has been one of the main themes in my life since the day I was born.