I started to listen to Bob Dylan’s music this morning. It brought back to mind a visit by the late actor, Theodore Bikel, to my fraternity house in Atlanta for dinner one night in 1964. He told us about the Jewish son of the Zimmermans of Hibbing, Minnesota who had “deserted” them. They were pleading through the actor for Bob (Zimmerman) Dylan’s return, apparently wherever they could. “After studying at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis he moved to New York City in 1961.” (Per the Famuse talent management website).
I doubt either lived long enough to see their son win the Nobel Prize in literature. Though they certainly saw him give musical and poetic joy to millions of people. On the other hand, I am not sure of precisely what they wanted as I try to piece together an old, old memory.
I do know this. When his own son, Jacob, was born he wrote an unforgettable piece of music hoping his newborn would stay Forever Young and that God would bless and keep him always.
“Why Is It So Hard for Men to Make Close Friends?” is the title of an essay by Catherine Pearson in last Monday’s New York Times. Interesting question.
It has been a boon for me, as a Messianic Jew, to attend two, church, fellowship groups. They nurture friendships.
Both involve men sharing their lives and seeking prayer together. Most of my last decade I have been active in those two groups.
The groups add a dimension to my quiet, elderly life. I have heard it said that your life tends to close down as you get older. The fellowship groups to the contrary expand my life.
In addition to my height shrinking with age, I don’t want my life shrinking. If you have or will have the privilege of getting old, may God bless you with good, close friends who enthusiastically share their days with you.
In 1972 the Eagles wrote their song, Take it Easy. It commemorated the town of Winslow, AZ.
Kristine and I did not meet until five years later.That very last week of 1977, we began our trek from Baltimore, MD to Ventura, CA, a town memorialized by the Pontiac Ventura, a car that died that same year.
On the last day of our journey the beautiful, cool, winter weather drifted through AZ. We were driving the 2nd least dependable car I had ever owned, both of which were not vetted. My lack of skill through the age of 32 in buying dependable cars was remarkable.
It was evening and we were rolling down the road into Winslow, AZ. At the same time from our subpar speaker system we heard the Eagles singing” Well I am standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ.”🎵 🎶.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to actually stop and stand on a corner. Our car might have died like the Pontiac Ventura had we stopped.
It has been 59 years and one week since the assassination of John F Kennedy. The nation’s grief over his sudden death was magnified by his youth. He was a bright, extraordinary orator who had captured the country’s imagination.
That was certainly a different era. The Lincoln Continental convertible in which he was riding with Jacqueline cost the federal government $7,000. Think about that a minute.
I was an Emory freshman in Atlanta on that Friday afternoon awaiting a chemistry lab. I heard the news while sitting in my dorm room. A fellow student was running down the hall shouting the news. The lab was canceled as was our fraternity’s party set for that evening.
I think most Americans over 70 can recall where they were and how vivid and heartbreaking the announcement came to all of us. I mark the beginning of my adulthood on that tragic Friday afternoon.
“You must believe it is your destiny to create beauty in this world. To shape your life with love and purpose, touch it ever so briefly with your weary hands and leave it a little more cherished than it was.” Land Leave, an American poet.
Each of us by God’s grace, has some tender and purposeful acts to leave behind. A son or daughter nurtured to the brim with attention and goodwill. Particular words of encouragement a daughter or son will never forget. A tranquil moment with a loved one overflowing with smiles and gratitude. A thoughtful letter that becomes a keepsake to a mother or father.
These may appear small, but are oh-so-large gifts we can leave one another touched by our weary hands.
“And there’s nothing you can do to change the fact that love is, or it isn’t. It will either work or it won’t.” “One day you will find refuge in another, and they will learn to know your heart like it was their own.” Lang Leave, American poet.
Someone broke your heart. Another did not. Yet another may hold you dear for much of your adult life.
Love is the most precious thing in life, but it cannot be willed. It happens.
It’s God’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious gift in our present sojourn on earth. Is it not?
Think about where you would be without it. Scary thought.