FLIGHTS FROM THE PAST
24 September, 1998
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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001
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A Thought for Today
Temper ought to be tempered with compassion.
ROD LIVE! Follow this link for
Santa Fe ticket information.
Am I anxious about today? I am. I don't know why. Auditions never ever worried, worry me. Because of all the numbers in our days, there is always more rejection than acceptance in whatever life we choose to live. And I have tried my best to not fear the turning of the years, "the long, long while from May to December." I figured then that when September came and went, I'd be ready. Having packed so many years of living, so many lovers found and lost and found again into a life that would not have happened unless I'd forced it; what was there up ahead to be afraid of? What is there to fear?
I have loved the autumn like no other season, the turning of the leaf, the sunset more vivid than the sunrise, the lovers of December - more beautiful than their counterparts in April, May. Each line learned, each pound earned and white more beautiful than blonde or grey. Why should I be apprehensive about a May / December meeting planned today? If I knew the answer to all that then I would hold the key to what has driven me, against all odds to here and now.
The in between must hold the answer, not the quantum leap from twenty-seven to sixty-five. I urge you as you 'round the forty-year mark to look ahead and not glance backward. That was then. You won't recapture 21 and thirty will be history soon enough. Brave it out and always hike toward tomorrow. Tomorrow's all there is and who can know how many of them you will greet or because of that final, inevitable, appointment, ever meet.
Do I worry of a May / December meeting later on this day? Ah, I do. I worry that my arms will not be long enough to surround and comfort you and that my own desire for more than company might interrupt my good intentions. Not to mention devils in the underbrush who always seem to get ahead of angels hovering overhead. My September has arrived, I have to look it in the eye or turn my back forever. Only winter lies ahead.
Along the way I wrote so many dark September songs and each comes back to haunt me now. Why was I in such a hurry?
RM - 9/23/98. First published in Flight Plan 9/24/98.
REMINDER TO OUR FRIENDS IN
Frank Sinatra Jr & The Wood Herman Orchestra give the final concert tomorrow night, have only two concerts on their European Tour left and they are both in Spain. Tomorrow night, Friday the 27th at Jardins de Cap Roig in Calello, Spain.
ROD’S NEXT APPEARANCE
Sunday afternoon, July 29th Rod joins Sally Kellerman, Bruce Vilanche and an all star cast in Santa Fe, NM in “Live at the Lensic.” For ticket information
follow the link at the top of this page.
Rod McKuen concert and
appearance details can be obtained via the link below.
Concert & Appearance Details
||Gracie Allen o Louis Bellson o Sandra Bullock o Buddy Clark o Blake Edwards o Paul Gallico o Susan George o Vitas Gerulaitis o Robert Graves o Dorothy Hamill o Aldous Huxley o Mick Jagger o Carl Jung o Estes Kefauver o Mary Jo Kopechne o Serge Koussevitzky o Stanley Kubrick o Danny LaRue o Marjorie Lord o Helen Mirren o Jason Robards, Jr. o George Bernard Shaw o Kevin Spacey o Roger Taylor o Vivian Vance o Alexis Weissenberg
||Be tender every time you bid your friends goodbye, who knows if you will meet again.
In its comprehensiveness love embraces success and failure. Never be afraid to love again.
Don’t leave charity to angels. Give a little yourself and give a little of yourself.
To the Memory of Chen Sam
||I cannot get enough
of lit up mornings,
birds shaking mist from low tree branches,
the early sky now shaved by clouds.
The hedgehog grumbling
back to darkness
is known by me and loved by me.
Then settling in and moving fast,
mid-morning turns the cats to clowns
as round they spin
in the butterfly chase,
tails twitching above the reeds.
Gotcha ! No, the quarry’s gone.
Cats lose interest long before noon,
even when low birds dive and tease.
Two to four in all its splendor
renders description worthless.
The mirth of the moment
moves to laughter.
After the bell sounds five.
All, in a hurry, are off to the sunset
that trims the edge of house and hill.
Night is part of necessity’s reach
for something a little more gentle.
Sentiment swings both low and high
and makes its practitioner
act without question,
to question his actions later.
The greater the darkness
the harder the loss,
and music costs more with the passing hour.
Ah, but consider
the lit up mornings
when life does its sorting
makes its decisions,
never too many, ever too few.
Hedgehogs with heads in daybooks,
grumbling, shuffling, jotting down
the start of the sunrise,
the debut of dawn.
I envy the sunlight wasting, wasted.
I mourn the mornings gone.
- from "Valentines", 1986