responding to ‘persuasion’

October 13th, 2015

Deep feelings need honest music, a line between loneliness and a hopeful language.  Can I repair something that was never there in the first place?  I cannot control what others think and do, but I try to manipulate the way others see me. I’ve been married three times, and learned about myself the hard way.  I still try to control the unstoppable passage of time coursing in my blood, like a magic wand.  I have yearned for warmth from a cruel flame before, and have wasted a great deal of my energy trying to please people who don’t understand me anyway.

A colleague and friend that I taught with for over fifteen years recently died from cancer.  Toward the end of his life, he told me, “If you asked me if I wanted cancer, I would have said no, but I would never trade what I learned from having cancer.”  I wish I had a magic wand to save his life.  He was very brave, and taught me I can only change my attitude.

I posted a powerful song with lyrics,  Persuasion.  Richard and Teddy Thompson sing about trying to repair loss, ‘knowing half-measures given half a chance… trusting in the fire while the cruel flame burns, wanting to repair what was never there, what was left behind…I still believe I can be persuaded.”  

Unfinished business leaves a residue, wishing I could have changed people, or behaved differently.  Regret is only a small part of what I’m feeling, the desire to be understood is bigger.  If I face my wrongdoings and offer an honest apology and a change in my own behavior, I can breathe.   But I still do not have power to change what happened, and still delude myself that I can change other people.

An artist like me senses this loss at the end of a completed project, but I strive to avoid feeling closure. I magically think I can keep things going when they are clearly over.

On the other hand, things end with people.  Friends or family, I wish I could have fixed what was broken, to mend a finality of something inevitable and real.  Depending on the marriage, it can come and go, but sincere friendships seem to endure beyond death.

Maybe Richard Thompson sings Persuasion with his eyes closed to protect himself as he sings his lyrics, and his words move me.  He still believes he has the power to change what went down with someone else.

I can protect my heart by when I tell the truth about how it feels to be me, what it’s like to be a kite with a long tail still touching the ground.  I hope to rise and see things in a new way.

I need to grieve for the loss of my friend, and brace myself for what will come next.  Something else is coming…

Writers before me say, “I’m writing because it isn’t there.”  Yes, it’s inevitable.




4 responses to “responding to ‘persuasion’”

  1. John Jahn says:

    I can change what happened in two ways. One, none of my current friends have any memory of what happened besides me and I’m under no compulsion to let anyone in my current world know except as I sometimes do with attempts at usually humorous anecdotes. (That has nothing to do with honesty. It’s painful survival.) Two, those who lived what happened with me 40 or 50 years ago probably don’t remember it the same way I do, don’t care to remember it, or just can’t grasp it out of the air because it has become so diffuse like one grain of sand blown out to sea and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. It can’t be grasped out of the air because it is no longer in the air. It’s covered over now with mountains of other unreachable grains in a very dark place. It isn’t there anymore.

  2. Tami from wayback says:

    John Jahn weaves a strong description of the truth here. But none of the three options in way # 2 is taken by me as an absolute. Call me PollyAnna, but here’s my take: “Those who lived what happened with me 40 or 50 years ago probably don’t remember it the same way…” but there is still some degree of commonality that may not be exposed until the phenomenon called communication happens to take place; “don’t care to…” due to their own method of dealing – until they may allow themselves to hear a different perspective that offers hope… “or just can’t grasp…” until that time when they/we suddenly do grasp (“epiphany”) – I have witnessed these musings from both sides many times. The song is beautiful and reaches deep into our consciousness. The way they sing it is brilliant.

    • Pru Starr says:

      It’s interesting to consider changes in perceptions that we experience as we get older.
      Thanks for the insight.

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