Death has been on my mind a lot lately. (No, I’m not suicidal. No need to worry about me right now.) One of the songwriters here in Nashville, Lorna Flowers, passed away last week unexpectedly during a procedure. Most folks found out the next morning and by noon, had organized a remembrance for that night. Only a few hours notice and the room was packed with people sharing stories and songs from this woman’s life because it is a family here. Folks bond and share and grow together in a way I’ve seen no other art community. The good in a songwriter’s life is celebrated and the bad is commiserated - both extremes usually over a few beers and a few songs. And almost always, the bad is crafted into wickedly poignant line in a song.
We made the move to Nashville because of a loss of a friend to cancer and in Lorna’s passing, we are reminded why.
We moved so we didn’t live our lives with regrets about what might have been. We moved to explore all the creative things we couldn’t focus on full time in CA. Working to live was just a phrase we said but never did. We never really moved outside our cocoon of a house because the world was busy and noisy and overpopulated. We never went to concerts or movies because the hassle of driving and parking and sitting with asshats who had no social skills would destroy the experience. We moved because the outside world was making our inside sense of self into a horrible grumpy old man – much like the two dudes on the Muppets. Too much like the two dudes on the Muppets actually.
Here, we are breathing. We are going to concerts and seeing movies and enjoying people. Husband has friends he didn’t gain by marrying me. He has friends that aren’t from his hometown or from work where they are friendly only because of location. Here, we have been adopted into the songwriter family, odd they may all be, and are celebrated for taking the chance despite the horrible odds. Here, we go out to eat at fancy and at not so fancy restaurants dressed in jeans because we can. We take long drives around the Tennessee countryside and pop in for an afternoon of music over a meal. Here, we are creative – though not necessary productive. (Okay, that last one is only me. Husband and his co-writer have just demoed a few songs.)
I woke up the other night in tears because I dreamt about my friend. I woke up in tears because I regret not telling her to take a risk with her plans. I regret not telling her that life - her life was going to be short and she should – she needed to go and see the places she wanted, hug the people she loved before it was over. I regret not telling her that the fight was going to be too long and to violent for her to live what was left of her life. I saw her hope and I didn’t want to crush it. And I worry; I regret that it was the wrong choice. That I should have shared the doom and gloom that lives inside of me and maybe her final days would have been filled with more than pain.
Whatever you believe in, God, Fate, Mother Nature, whatever, you have to see that life is a series of lessons. Sometimes it takes just one 3rddegree burn to teach you not to touch that hot stove. Sometimes you have to touch the stove again and again and still you won’t learn. Sometimes, we’re like the toddler learning to walk. We hold on to fingers and furniture long after we have the skills because we’re terrified to let go. Sometimes we’re like the dog that wants in the kitchen door when the front door is open and you won’t come to the front door no matter how loudly your name is called. Okay, that might only be our dog…
I didn’t mean to get this deep (yes, I meant both ways) this morning. My back relaxer pills make me sluggish and introspective.
My point is; do at least one of the things on your wish list today, even if it’s a small one. Make plans to do the big ones at some point soon. Hug your friends and family and tell them that you love them. Take a moment to hold your face up to the sun and remember those you’ve let go. And live – or at least try to live your life without regrets. Don’t be Waldorf or Statler. - unless, of course, being a grumpy old man Muppet is your dream.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me