A Change is Gonna Come

The More Things Change—The More They Remain The Same  

It’s the first day of the new year. After a late night of welcoming it in, I’ve awakened. It’s 7:30am. Way past my “get up” time. My mind spins—almost relentlessly. Thinking of things to check off. I know, still there are miles to go before I rest. I thank the Father for that, and that which is left. So onward I go. To the kitchen. The Keurig we got for Christmas beckons me. I surrender. The strong aroma of the rich dark Italian roast intoxicates me. The brew slides down easily. I love the smell, savor and taste of a good cup of coffee in the AM.

Pandora keeps me company. The music from my past, present and future continue to haunt me. It always starts with a bit of Nancy Wilson—“I’ve Never Been To Me”. Then Nina (Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood), Sam Cooke (A Change Is Gonna Come), some Joan Baez (Forever Young).

Endlessly—I playback the moments from the past, and I realize they’re not much different than the moments of the present. I’m older, wiser and stronger now. Indeed, but I am still me. That naive little boy from the 4th Ward (Buttermilk Bottom) who looked to the future with eyes ever so bright. In search of adventure, romance, and the love of a woman. A woman it took me almost a lifetime to find.

Leo (my task timer) hearkens me. The collards need attention. The ham hocks are ready. Turn down the black-eyes. The tomatoes and onions need to bask for several more hours. This routine feels familiar. Is it? Isn’t this supposed to be a new year. In the immortal words of Janis—it sometimes just feels like one BIG day. Maybe it’s true. Don’t know who said it, but “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Hmmm?

The music through my headphones I got for Christmas, slips effortlessly into my skull. It’s Sam (again), “These Foolish Things Remind Me of You.” Really? He moans. I reminisce. Lipstick traces? An airline ticket? Romantic places? Paris—perhaps? A testimony (again) that the more they change, the more they remain. My coffee is cold and dwindling. Not a day for complexities—I hope. Maybe another fresh brew from a K-cup. Maybe the Bustelo a friend gave me.

It’s 10:30am now. The aroma of the greens and ham hocks tell me it may be a 3 pound day. Some may call it unhealthy, and opt for turkey necks. Their choice—not mine. I call it a new years tradition. The new years tradition or holiday feasts have taken a toll on my once svelte—that’s educated talk for lean and mean—180 pound frame. My body doesn’t metabolize like it used to. It’s going to take some work to drop the holiday eats and treats. Oh well!

Natalie Cole through the magic of Pandora, just bounced in with a catchy rendition of, “My Baby Just Cares For Me.” Nice. Where is (my) baby? Still asleep? Morning is not her hour. I’m reminded of our differences through the sweet lyrics of Amy Winehouse’s “Back 2 Black.” Metaphorically speaking—that is. “… you love blow and I love puff.” The morning light (puff) advances across my window screen as it calls out to me. And (blow) sleep still clouds her mind. Sweet dreams—perhaps my love.

Joan Baez through the lyrics of Dylan, emphatically plea to “Stay Forever Young.” Well! Didn’t we? Ever so often, I’m reminded that we didn’t. A friend pleads for another adventure. My body aches for no reason. And the music and the images take me back to a place and time that I can’t escape. Live long and prosper my friends… . bgs.​

Enjoy This Life Now.

It Has An Expiration Date. Thank You Father.

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