Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Death, Zevon and The Wind

Last night I was saying goodbye to a young man who was successfully completing treatment.  He had come back for help because he had begun injecting heroin and it was scaring the hell out of him.  He said he was losing his soul and I had been his counselor in the past and he said "we seemed to get along."  He attributed much of his success this time to a "spiritual awakening."  An inexplicable event that allowed him to stop struggling, accept, and move on.

After we did the final paperwork and shook hands he wished me well in my upcoming retirement.  I thanked him and smiled and then said "Yeah, but I'll still have to die."  I was trying to be funny but it stopped him in his tracks. He looked confused and upset, like "why the hell would you say that?"  The uncomfortable moment passed and he came back with "don't be so negative, these are your golden years..."  .I realized, again, that talking about death just isn't done very much and when it is it can be shocking and upsetting for people, especially young people. So, no offense, but death is a biggie for this sixty three year old man who is about to retire and it will most likely be a recurring theme of this blog if this blog continues and I don't kick the bucket.

Which leads to Warren Zevon and The Wind.  This is his last album recorded as he was dying of lung cancer. The cover picture is mesmerizing.   This is it.  No irony. No pretense.  Here I am dying and here's what I want to say while I have a chance. Straight ahead rock and roll. No bullshit.

One of the songs is

Please Stay.

Will you stay with me to the end?
When there is nothing left 
But you and me and the wind.
We'll never know till we try
To find the other side of goodbye

I read these words to Dorothy last night and broke down. We hugged and said reassuring words to each other.

That's a good, beautiful thing  and I refuse to be embarrassed by the tears or not tell about it because it may be difficult for others to hear.

Thank you Warren Zevon.