Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pearl Jam’s Black & Stay with Me

“Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me, as her body once did…” -Black


Last night I walked out into the darkness of the city, under the lights, met a couple of buddies and tossed it around.
“Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh…
Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love
Some folks just have one,
Yeah, others, they’ve got none, huh-uh…” -Stay with Me

It's good talking to guys my own age who know stuff and have been around the block.
“And all I taught her was everything
I know
She gave me all that she wore…” -Black

There were a couple of low level gangsters hanging around and some whores walked by all slow like, checking us out, but we payed them no mind.
“I’m a fool, you see, no one knows this more than me,
As I come clean…” -Stay with Me

Later we rode scooters in the dark down the alleyways and tested our bravery on the open roads.
“Take a walk outside, I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter…
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head…” -Black

These guys, these old guys, we all got the same thought, we think- nobody knows the things I've seen.
“I wonder every day
As I look upon your face
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take…” -Stay with Me

And we're right, of course. But there's always somebody bigger on the block, somebody that inspires us too.
“All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I’ll ever be…” -Black

Travelers, muscians, story tellers, painters, artists... people with talent that found it more rewarding to help others, those are my people.
“Stay with me, let’s just breathe…”

We talk about how times and styles change, how the stuff we came of age with is getting older too.
“I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life,
I know you’ll be a sun in somebody’s else’s sky, but why
Why , why can’t it be, can’t it be mine?” –Black

There's a part of me that loves how it grows, how the process survives, how I survive too.
“Hold me till I die
See you on the other side…” -Stay with Me


Especially if it remains true, because not everything does. Most things, the very best things, are spoiled and corrupted, but there are some that hold fast, that remind us what it means to live. Those are my favorite. So tonight I walk around the city and listen to some of these old songs I grew old singing in my head... funny, though I have lines and wrinkles, gray hairs and sore bones... they haven't aged a bit.

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