Lightning in the Distance

The Fuse
by: Jackson Browne

It’s coming from so far away
It’s hard to say for sure
Whether what i hear is music or the wind
Through an open door
There’s a fire high in the empty sky
Where the sound meets the shore
There’s a long distance loneliness
Rolling out over the desert floor

And the years that i spent lost in the mystery
Fall away leaving only the sound of the drum
Like a part of me
It speaks to the heart of me
Forget what life used to be
You are what you choose to be
It’s whatever it is you see
That life will become

Whatever it is you might think you have
You have nothing to lose
Through every dead and living thing
Time runs like a fuse
And the fuse is burning
And the earth is turning

Though the years give way to uncertainty
And the fear of living for nothing strangles the will
There’s a part of me
That speaks to the heart of me
Though sometimes it’s hard to see
It’s never far from me
Alive in eternity
That nothing can kill

Oh Lord
Are there really people starving still?
Look out beyond the walls of babylon
How long will their needs go unfilled
I want to say right now i’m going to be around
I’m going to be around
When the walls and towers are crumbling
When the towers are tumbling down
And i will tune my spirit to the gentle sound
I want to hear the sound
Of the waters lapping on a higher ground
Of the children laughing

Ah… listening to Jackson Browne is better than eating rich, moist, double chocolate brownies… and for me, that is saying something. I am a child of the 70’s and this really brings back memories. Like, I thought that I was the only one who could REALLY immerse myself into deep music. Oh, how blatantly self centered… and naive.

The irony of it is that I actually get more out of it NOW. I feel as if I am on this same cusp, once again, waiting for my life to unfold. Except now, it’s not just “my” life, but the life of our fledgling family. I wonder what lies ahead of us. I worry that we are too old to be parents and that we will depart this world far too soon for our little chick to be left alone in it. Ah, I guess I will have to wait and see what happens there.

When I was young and more physically capable of having a child, I believed I would make a horrible mother. I felt that I had nothing of value to impart to any child. I was scared, too. Telling My StoriesNow, that I am older with a more medical annoyances than I can remember, like heartburn, possible arthritis, and plummeting energy levels, I feel that I, indeed, DO have something very valuable to pass on. I have my life. I have my stories. I have my experiences to share. I have my words of (hopefully) wisdom. I am the stuff of memories… my true legacy.

The Fuse… our lives are really like fuses, burning down to the end. Burning steadily, burning faster than we’d care to think. Yet, it’s what we do with that fuse that matters most. This song also forces me to look at this crumbling world that we bequeath to our children… and I shudder. This country is a mess now, in what condition will it be in by the time my son’s generation is grown? Children really can’t be children.

Today I tried to trick my son into thinking that I was giving him soda. He always wants what I have, and today, I happened to have a glass of soda which I usually do not have. He just would not take no for an answer. The glass was basically empty and I poured in some water from the remaining ice, making sure that it was out of his view. That little rascal knew there was no soda. The expression on his face, though subtle, said it all. I made it all up to him by letting him have a few ice chips.

“I will tune my spirit to the gentle sound of children laughing on the higher ground.” Yes, we must atune our spirits to the spirits of our children. For our own sakes, as well as theirs. Children have so much to teach, if only we’d take the time to see and listen to them. They “know” more, a lot more than we think they do. If only we could rub into ourselves a bit of the stuff that makes them so wise, yet so innocent.