Write Again … How words touch us

Published 9:30 am Sunday, August 30, 2020

“Each evening from December, to December, before you drift to sleep upon your cot, think back on all the tales that you remember — of Camelot.

“Ask every man if he has heard the story, and shout it loud and clear if he has not; that once there was a fleeting wisp of glory, that was known as … Camelot.”

Ah. To remember the closing lines of that marvelous musical “Camelot,” spoken by King Arthur. Can anyone write a better phrase than “a fleeting wisp of glory?” I don’t think so.

Now, you may ask: Where in the world is old Bartow going with this? A fair question.

It’s about words. That’s right, words. The power of words, that can affect us in so many, many ways. In good ways, bad ways and other ways.

When you combine words with music, there is the potential, the possibility, of something very special resulting. The third component of this special symbiosis is, of course, the individual. What you, or I, bring to the “process” is the key.

We don’t all respond to the same stimuli in the same way. We all know this. Albert Camus understood this when he said, “We don’t see things (or hear things) as they are, we see things as we are.” How true.

Johnny Cash sang a song, not as familiar to many, perhaps, as some of his songs that are now regarded as genuine classics.

It was a ballad, whimsical, but powerfully poignant. He sang it as if it came from deep within his heart, his soul.

This song was “I Still Miss Someone.” If you have ever still missed someone, then you will identify with the lyrics, and love the musicality of this special song.

Songs, some of the lyrics, in some cases in their entirety, seem to speak to us. To some of us. Oh, yes.

The same can be said for some lines in a poem, the grandiloquence of some passages in a speech. Such can emotionally and intellectually put the lie to the utterance “It’s only words.”

Should my family insist on a funeral for me when my journey is over, I would ask that “Blowing in the Wind” be sung. The words are truly soulful. However, it is my request of my family that whatever they decide to do, be done in private. Enough about that.

Back to music, I truly love “I’ll Be Seeing You,” as I have mentioned several times in the past. “I’ll find you in the morning sun/and when the night is new, I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.”

A phrase in a gospel song touches my inner core: “Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never be mine … so let me make, let me take, one day at a time.” You can’t get much better advice than that, friends.

Another phrase from either a song or poem, I forget which, that I really like is “When early autumn walks the land, and chills the breeze/and touches with her hand the summer trees.” Evocative of both nature and a greater power, to me.

A Civil War song with a beautiful, haunting melody, spoke of humankind’s greatest hope during those tragic times:

“We’re tenting tonight on the old campground/Give us a song to cheer our hearts, a song of home, and friends we hold so dear.

“Many are the hearts that are weary tonight/Wishing for the war to cease/Many are the hearts that are looking for the light/To see the dawn of peace.”

Well, now. Enough rambling on about all this. I could go on for a long, long while with examples. As could you.

Let me end by leaving you with this: Please know that I genuinely appreciate each of you who takes the time to read my weekly scribblings. My words.

Let’s do this again next week.

To your good health …