Slow train coming


Can it be true: are we to be free again to meet and eat and drink and laugh and tell stories and sing songs? The answer is blowing in the wind, whispering hope that the long night is over and the dawn is near. Come together, there’s better days shining through. Ring them bells, nobody has to think too much about Desolation Row and the healing has begun on the bright side of the road. it’s been a long cold lonely winter, but now peace will come. It seems like years since it’s been here.  

Just a song before I go. Yes, I can feel it coming in the air tonight… there’s a slow train coming ‘round the bend. There is a light at the end of the tunnel at last, as restrictions and regulations begin to be relaxed, with a glimpse of a happier day ahead. Oh happy day! I can hear music, sweet, sweet music. How sweet it is. Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom? The times, they are a’changing.

The long and winding road of the last two years seems to be near the end. The walk of life can begin again, and knowing me, knowing you, there’ll be dancing, dancing in the streets. The boys are back in town and everybody’s got a hungry heart, so don‘t stop me now. Good times, bad times, it doesn’t matter any more. Go where you wanna go, do what you want to do, because here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right!

Yesterday was a hard day’s night, but, with a little help from my friends, it’s getting better. We stood like a rock against the wind, and we’re never going back. Tangled up in blue, we sought shelter from the storm, but one of us must know (sooner or later) that we can be heroes, just for one day. Morning has broken.

On the road to find out, how can I tell you? Teach your children well, there’s a bridge over troubled water and all you need is love. And may you stay forever young. Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe, so don’t fence me in. Come together, something, whatever gets you through the night into another day, tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail. For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale, and for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail. And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

It’s only words, and words are all I have, so say the word I’m thinking of. Have you heard the word is love?

The sun is up, the sky is blue, won’t you come out to play? And we’ll walk down the avenue in style. And we’ll walk down the avenue and we’ll smile. And we’ll say: “ain’t it all worthwhile, when the healing has begun?” Save the last dance for me, I want to celebrate. Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. The plague years are past, how sweet it is.

That’s enough. It would be great to just continue in music and words and poetry, and that is possibly where we all should be going now. What do you do when you feel liberated, chained, lost, found, loved, not wanted? Sing, sing a song, sing out loud, sing it strong.  There is nothing that cannot be expressed in music, poetry, lyrics. We have been down so long, it looks like up to me. Hey, mister Tambourine Man: play a song for me. Music hath charms to sooth the savage breast, you know. There is no music in Hell (well, possibly some really Heavy Metal…).

So I say, thank you for the music. Dance me to the end of love. These are the things we need to recapture after isolation, disease, fear, loss and the dreary, grey, fog of covid. Everything is beautiful, in its own way. “Don’t you think it’s sad living all alone? So don’t you think it’s time for us to get along?”

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time; It’s easy.

Yes, this is a crazy collection of words, and no, I’m not stoned, drunk, crazy (well, maybe a little crazy), but if we really are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, then maybe we can also see our way to thinking differently, to appreciate the joys, the freedoms, the beauty, the wonder of being able to feel the weight of the past two years fall away. There have been such losses, such sacrifices, such darkness and loneliness. Can we learn from that and decide that he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother?

Let’s look for the beauty, the joy, the creativity that is possible, after the negativity of the past. There’s another collection of words that may be a principle we can live by, one that may improve, not only our own lives, but our communities, the world in which we live.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of peace will be with you. To quote another singer, sadly lost: you took the words right out of my mouth. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. And what’s wrong with that, I’d like to know. And if you get the references, then you can tell everybody this is your song. And if you don’t, what can I say? Sorry.

“And we’ll walk down the avenue again. And we’ll sing all the songs from way back when…When the healing has begun”. [Van Morrison]


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