Posted by: ubahleeob | June 26, 2009

The Sands of Time


June 25th, 2009 was a tough day for my generation.  Within the span of eight hours two of the most visible faces of a generation vanished into history.   People will talk, cry, accuse, eulogize,  demean, joke (gallows humor I guess), and well, do what I am doing.  As I sat last night watching MTV’s wall-to-wall  coverage of Michael Jackson’s death all I could think  was, “wow, I remember the first time I heard ……”

I remember when I found out that Elvis had died.  I was listening to 94Q -FM in Atlanta. Long before the day of the 24 news cycle — the DJ actually had to say, “I am not kidding, Elvis is dead.”  But I was only 16 or 17 when that King died, at least to my mind, I had my entire life ahead of me. Maybe that is why this has hit me be in such a weird way.

Now in my mid-40’s I wonder, exactly how much time do I really have left?    Life looks different this far along. Different things make me happy.  I don’t want what I did when I was a teenager running up and down the country roads of Pike County Georgia.  My dreams have changed, my hopes have morphed.

I heard a radio commentator say this morning that we American’s have a sick fascination  with death.  That may be true to a point, but I think the fascination is actually more with our own deaths, our own mortality, that nagging something that asks, “did I do all I could? ”  “Did I let my fear of _____ keep me from doing ______?” ” How will I be remembered?” and my all time favorite, “Is this all there really is?”

This reminds me of “This Is Your Life ” by Switchfoot.  For those that need a refresher, the chorus says (sing along if you know it):

This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be?
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

Granted, not really what you want to hear when in a melancholy mood.  Still the questions have to be asked. It’s the answers that are hard, necessary —  but hard.



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