Johnny Cash put on his black jacket, grabbed his guitar and took the long walk through that magic cornfield in Field Of Dreams 14 years ago today.
Slipped the bonds that tied him to this earthly plane and went looking for June because what else was there left to do here.
In theory she welcomed him with open arms, assuming she remembered who he was to her but since none of us were there to see we don’t really know what happened.
We often talk about whatever lies beyond as being a better place in which all of our cares and worries are non existent because they were left behind, but what happens if they weren’t.
What happens if you cross over and discover you remember and they don’t. What then.
A Hell Of A Surprise
Maybe John got there and discovered June had forgotten or had taken up with another man.
What then. What comes next when you reach the place that is supposed to be heaven and discover it is not.
Maybe we ought to ask Stephen King to weigh in or maybe we ought to reach out to clergy and ask for their assistance.
Perhaps that would sound like the one of those jokes that starts with A priest, a reverend and a rabbi walk into a…
Maybe that is what Hurt is about. Maybe it is about finding that old familiar place and person while discovering nothing is as it seems.
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
When you move as many times as I have you find yourself in a constant state of memory.
You can promise that you’ll focus on the present and not look back or forwards because you need to be in the here and now but the packing and unpacking makes it hard.
Hard, because you spend your time putting away and taking out memories.
Doesn’t matter whether things are good or bad, you are going to find yourself roaming through fields long gone and remembering people and places who once held bigger and more important places in your heart.
You Kissed Me First & Other Lies People Tell
Some of the boys are single again for the first time in years so the stories they share are like echoes of the past.
Tales about dates and women that were once commonplace dried up during their married years and now new ones have begun.
A few of them have included words from lady friends who listen and laugh as they add their side of the story.
“I waited for you to kiss me for two hours and I finally got tired of waiting so I kissed you.”
“That is not what happened. You kissed me as soon as I walked through the door.”
They go back and forth and for a moment we smile because we have been granted access to their world and there is a familiar warmth to it.
Sometimes in the midst of the tale they turn to their counterpart and make c0mments about how men never get the details right 0r focus on the wrong ones.
“Josh, where is your head, you are not listening to me.”
“Sorry, I am thinking about something.”
“What are you thinking ab0ut?”
“It is almost the middle of September. You have months to go before it is worth focusing on June again.”
“Might not ever be worth focusing on June again, or it might. Can’t really say. Pass the tape, I need to put this box away.”
“You have the most random comments.”
“I am a random guy, he mutters and then softly he sings”
Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
He’s riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain’t caught ’em yet
‘Cause they’ve got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire
As they ride on hear their cry
You Can’t Outwork A Taurus
I felt something funny happen to my right arm Saturday night.
It was midway through the party as we lifted my brother-in-law in the chair while the rest of the party danced a hora around us.
We raised him up and began our own circle and then that feeling hit me and I wondered if it was just a moment or a thing.
A moment would be good because it is just one of those funny feelings that go away and you never think about them again.
A thing, well that is different because it could be related to age or to any number of things you might have done with your arm and it might be serious.
I grit my teeth, muttered something about not outworking a Taurus and kept going.
The feeling or thing disappeared and I visualized a team of little men fixing it. Ya know, an internal pit crew.
For a while I forgot about it and then it came back and I glared at the mirror.
Tried to decide if it was one of those ‘itis things and wondered if I could rest it away or if I could just Advil it into oblivion.
Didn’t hurt enough to stop me from doing what I wanted but it didn’t just go away.
Later that night I’d sit on the plane thinking about what it might be while wondering if the turbulence was going to bounce it back into position or make it worse.
That was a pretty healthy shaking we had going on and I wondered if maybe a giant had grabbed a hold of us and was shaking us to see what would happen.
Fourteen years gone by and I still hear/find something new in Johnny’s music. I suppose that is part of the joy of it.
As you age and have new experiences words and chords catch you in different ways than they once did,
And that is why you keep walking, keep writing and keep listening because what you knew is going to change and what you couldn’t see becomes visible or fades away.
It is all part of the journey.