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Celebrate every simply victory and triumph over the grief and the weight of these days.
There are a couple lines from a Jackson Browne lyric that speak to me. I receive them as wisdom. They come in the last verse of a song he simply titled “These Days.”
I actually also like the title: “These Days.” The brevity of those two words together seem to encapsulate my attitude right now about the time we are living through. You can hear the exasperation in them, as well as the defiance.
Our context for ‘these days’ is different than the one Jackson sings about. He is confessing to a companion he seems to have disappointed. The first two verses express his regret – if not apology.
But it is in the third and final verse that I find the wisdom that I think applies directly to us as we live through our own version of ‘these days.’
The first line I want to reference reads: “I’ll keep moving. Things are bound to be improving these days.”
We’ve never seen anything quite like this before. The combination of a viral pandemic and the an ongoing racial pandemic and ongoing political turmoil and chaos following an election result that the out-going president refused to acknowledge has us all struggling to find out way through this with equanimity and stability.
Every day we do what we can to adjust, adapt, accept, or endure. We have to invest coping remedies day after day after day as not only the context is unlike anything we’ve seen before but the enduring longevity of it requires constant creative adaptation. Because there is no template, we do what we do on instinct in a collective trial and error that seems to be working. Jackson Browne’s words strike me as utterly relevant and consummately wise: “I’ll keep moving. Things are bound to be improving – these days.” One foot in front of the other, keep moving. No road map – just keep moving. Its bound to improve. We think. We hope. We trust.
The other line I love is the final line of this song. It reads: “Don’t confront me with my failures. I had not forgotten them.”
There is utter poignancy and pathos in that line. How many times throughout the enduring of these days have we gotten down on ourselves because some of our attempts to adapt failed; or because the tension and grief we are living with have set our teeth on edge and we have lost our cool or our temper; or because we just couldn’t get out of bed and wallowed a while in our ennui.
We don’t need to be reminded of our failures. They are legion. But we will keep moving. Things are bound to be improving. These days.
Hang in there.
This ain’t easy, folks.
And you are doing your best.
Don’t confront yourself with your failures. Celebrate every simply victory and triumph over the grief and the weight of these days. Keep moving. Things are bound to be improving on this, our journey Into the Mystic.