With a little help from my friends

My compulsory Christmas and New Year break is over. The cranial hard drive somewhat refreshed. The joy of ringing in a New Year has already faded a little. The world’s problems seem to intensify rather than improve leaving most of us left to wonder what to do about it.

Suzie-Q and I have our own set of resolutions. Like most, we looked into the mirror and noticed some changes in our physical stature. Parts of us that should not be were sticking out some. Hair is growing out of places where it should not be growing and thinning in spots where should be profuse. Tank tops and hot pants are long gone from the wardrobe. We decided to tackle that problem head long this year. We started out by going to our favorite sub place, no not that one, and having cheese steaks with all the trimmings and a bucket of French fries. We are now ready to fulfill our New Year’s resolution or as my bride expresses it with her best Asian accent, our New Solution. Ours is quite simple. We agreed that we cannot fix yesterday and we cannot predict tomorrow realizing, as we were taught, that tomorrow has enough of its own problems. Our resolution is to try and get it right today. If we can do that, yesterday will not need fixing and tomorrow will take care of itself.

During my time of contemplation and self-chats, I often listen to music. My favorite album for thinking is Lifescapes. It is a Beethoven collection over a background of nature sounds. It soothes the old brain. I know, sort of an odd selection for a hillbilly. I do not believe Beethoven had a banjo. Moonlight Sonata on a banjo. Something to ponder. Well today, I listened to some of my digitized Joe Cocker, rest his soul. I understand that is quite a swing in musical tastes, but I liked Joe Cocker back in the day and when it comes to music, most of us do remain mentally in those impressionable times. It is a comfortable place to hang out. No, I am not as old as Beethoven, but Beethoven is timeless.

I do not know what my taste in music or a meaningless resolution has to do with the place in which I find myself today, but I fear trouble ahead in the New Year. I am not alone here. America shares with me these troubled times. But as Joe sang in the Beatles remake, I will get by with a little help from my friends.

Joe also asked in that song, “If I sang out of tune, would you get up and walk out on me?” America is singing a little out of tune these days. Somewhere in the middle of the Star Spangled Banner, she forgot the lyrics. Many have mentally walked out on her. Some of those walk outs purposeful others simply a product of apathy. The most influential among us, wholly ignorant many of them, disdain her past greatness and place the world’s problems on her broad shoulders. The least informed do not know much of the glory days. In a land of abundance the gifts she offers are too often taken for granted. Are we to place Lady Liberty into the box with the other vinyl records and shove her back into the corner of a dusty storage room? The dust bin of history they call it. The place where once great nations go to be forgotten or remembered for the reasons they are no longer. Are we to walk out on an America that has been given bad sheet music and a string of incompetent directors, or are we to renew her and perform the magnificent original score?

“Living in the promiseland our dreams are made of steel the prayer of every man is to know how freedom feels there is a winding road across the shifting sand and room for everyone living in the promiseland” – Joe Cocker, Living in the Promiseland

I resolve to stand by and defend the greatest land God ever allowed, not walk out on her.

© 2015 J. D. Pendry American Journal

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