Friday, December 31, 2021

#365 / Last Day (Songs Included)


This is the last day of the year, and this is my last blog posting of 2021 - #365. It is a kind of reprise of that "Memento Mori" blog posting I published back in June. Tomorrow, I am hoping to be around to wish us all a "Happy New Year," and to start off 2022 with a new blog posting #1. Naturally, I can't give any guarantees! 
As Bob Dylan says, in one of my favorite songs:
Mother of Muses wherever you are
I’ve already outlived my life by far 
I just had a birthday, five days ago, and I am more and more aware of just how true those lines from Bob Dylan really are. In fact, because I am increasingly aware of that, I have been doing quite a bit of "last day" planning during this now-disappearing year.  
For one thing, I am in the process of picking out a burial plot in Felton Cemetery and making all the arrangements. I have talked with my wife and kids about what do do when that "last day" comes around for me, hoping to work out with my family who gets my great grandfather's watch, and who gets the other stuff, and what should be done with all those books of mine. I am working out who will be the Executor and how my legal affairs and obligations will be handled.* I even thought about what sort of memorial gathering I would like to be able to attend, to celebrate my life - presuming that any such celebration is, in fact, ever held. Naturally, if such a gathering is held, I would prefer to be there in person!

I think it is generally true that almost everyone would like to think they will be remembered, when they can't be around in person anymore. Another one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs is called, "I'll Remember You." I was thinking that this song, in particular, might be a good one to play if there does turn out to be any memorial gathering held in my honor. 
The more I thought about that possibility, and about that possible memorial gathering, the more I thought that what I would really like to share would be my own thoughts about the wonderful life that I have had, and how much I have appreciated the chance to be alive and to know and interact with those who might be in attendance. I would like to say how grateful I am (or was, I guess) for having had the opportunity to be here for awhile, and to know everybody I have known. I might even write a speech, I was thinking, though my speech would have to be given in absentia. I haven't done that yet, haven't written that speech - and since I haven't, no guarantees! The following lines, though, from "Mississippi," by Bob Dylan, are pretty much exactly how I feel, and Dylan has captured the sentiments I am sure that I would like to convey to any memorial gathering:
Well my ship’s been split to splinters 
And it’s sinking fast
I’m drownin’ in the poison, 
Got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, 
It’s light and it’s free
I’ve got nothin’ but affection 
For all those who’ve sailed with me
Though I haven't yet written that memorial speech, what I have done is to put my son Philips in charge of making sure that anyone who shows up at any such memorial gathering (presuming that such a gathering does, in fact, take place) will walk away with a playable set of some of my favorite songs, including all the ones mentioned in this blog posting. 
You can see the list, read the lyrics, and even listen to the music if you want to. First, you just click that "Memorial Songs" link at the top of this blog posting; then, you scroll down through all the songs, and then click the title link to the song, if you want to listen to it. There are thirty-four songs in my playlist. Thirty-three of them are by Bob Dylan, and the last one is in Spanish, a musical adaptation of a powerful poem by Antonio Machado

Caminante, no hay camino
Se hace camino al andar

Traveler, there isn't any path
We make the path by walking

Since there aren't any guarantees for any of us, and since you might or might not be around, yourself, to attend this possible future gathering, when all these songs will be made available to attendees (at least they will be made available to attendees if things go as I'd like), I hope you will enjoy the music now. 

And remember me!

 *By the way, this is a good thing for everyone to do, sooner rather than later. I recommend it!

Image Credit:
Kevin Painchaud, Lookout Santa Cruz

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