Ric Ocasek – Drive

Another rock and roll icon passed on today. His legacy with a certain genre of music caught my eye in the eighties. Most every song has purpose, in lyrics, in rhythm, the Cars were able to take us on a journey. There is one particular piece, has always stuck with me.

In ‘Drive’ the video I suppose makes it that much more powerful. I see a woman struggling with her own sanity, four walls around her protecting her own impulsivity, and the lyrics are haunting,

Who’s gonna hold you down,
When you shake?
Who’s gonna come around,
When you break?

I worked in mental health for a couple of decades, and in that time, I observed many struggling human beings in isolation. Our job, my job was to maintain their safety, to watch and make sure they didn’t try to harm themselves, but in that isolated space, they might find a calm, and return to the general population.

Some took hours, even overnight, some needed to be strapped to a gurney, rather than do damage to themselves. I always felt a certain compassion for their helpless nature in the throes of a psychosis. I watched tears, and I was in no position to offer them any professional solace, except one human being to another making sure they knew I was there to keep them safe.

So when I reflect on ‘Drive’ I realize the vulnerability of our lives, when we do become so lonely, there seems no solution. We make choices that we later regret, or haven’t a chance to regret. I think about an artist’s genius in what in their mind is just cutting another album, and part of the whole – sounds good in a mix, looks good in a visual, having really, sometimes, no idea the impact it might have on their audience.

I leave it to you to get through the ads, and watch the Cars speak to the frailty of the human condition, and yet plead for some common welfare to be found that will expand the possibilities of the human spirit.

 


© Thom Amundsen 2019

RIP – Ric Ocasek – The Cars

When People Do Depart

Years ago,

with a stamp and a leap of faith,

I would begin my wait,

until one sunny afternoon, I would see the delivery,

always hoping you might be there,

to say hello,

~

So often as the gravel chimed my feet,

I would hear your voice again,

through the words on paper,

a parchment even in your selection

would offer solace,

in knowing there was a care,

for every aspect of your return.

~

i would then smile,

imagine the next round, our continued love affair,

miles away, yet immediately bound,

by the words we awaited, we lived for, we delighted

in realizing when they returned our thoughts,

the imagery in our mind,

remained strong, and evident, and real,

again.

~

Today, is it too easy to be swooned,

by the romantic nature of our words,

by our ability to recognize truth,

by our willingness to be vulnerable,

by the sheer virtue that sometimes our words …

are all we are,

remaining,

left behind,

in the immediacy.

Beauty’s Repose

© ester rogers

© ester rogers

***

In twilight hour

when moonlit streaks

in nighttime waves,

sudden urges mount

a heavy heart

to wonder when, maybe how,

in the brightness of day,

the change will be made.

Such round orb mentality

skewed resource of fragile

strength within the heart’s

own organic timing,

waits again for fear and indecision

purveyors of frailty.

As children our eyes

looked into the night sky

while idle threate

left themselves at our door

as magical monsters,

under our beds, safely odd.

Tonight in a lit sky

a future relevance

speaks more clearly

than a windswept morning

soon to drift past

the time of reckoned need.

The human mind,

once known as power,

now retreats home,

so we might allow

our soul to wander

quiet in beauty’s repose.