The video title read “Gordon Lightfoot, The Great Story Teller”. I clicked, recalling the young man and his music that fueled my teen years, suffering my angst right along with me. He always seemed to know, or was it that I chose him to match my sullen moods.
The first image of the documentary was the youthful and not so innocent man I remember, supple skinned, unruly curls and sad eyes. I felt the sweet recognition of an old friend. The next image however jarred me in its harsh realness.
There before me was a sunken cheeked, straggly haired old man, I didn’t know – until he sang. Out from the aged and unfamiliar façade came the melancholy lyrics and the gentle tone I recall. I listened, under the spell of the memories, recalling a day long ago, singing along, watching the rain sheet down the window pane, my heart bruised from a love lost, and I realized just how long ago it was.
Daily, it seems, I have this same momentary revelation when I am taken aback by how old a contemporary appears and I’m forced to admit we have arrived here together. I read or hear of someone’s health struggle, or worse yet, their death, and I understand, I am not frozen in time.
But for me there lies, beyond the sorrow and the momentary panic of a more than half empty hour glass, a resilience that spurs me forward to push back against the temptation to surrender. Not yet.
I’ve been told it’s alright to slow down, it’s alright to give into the occasional lapse in enthusiasm and the bone ache, but I can’t. I won’t. Not yet. For me, it’s too soon. I want more. I need more before I celebrate, as Gordon is being celebrated, as someone who was.
So, off I go, a little too much caffeine pulsing through my veins, an adequate substitute for what used to launch me from my bed with such wide eyed amusement. Another day to climb the hills, write the yet unwritten, and to seek out those sweet spots of my day that still delight me. My hair may have turned to the color of the man who sang the score of my youth, but I’m not done yet. And obviously neither is he.