There are songs, special songs, that can transport us back in time to a certain point, a specific memory. Leaving On a Jet Plane is one of those songs for me. I think I mentioned it once before in a blog post.
The song, written by John Denver, was recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary in 1967. So, I imagine it was around the summer of 1968 or 69 when my cousin Paula and I sang it at the top of our lungs in the back of her parents station wagon. We, all us Graham/Denmark cousins, had been to the next town over to swim. We were headed home down a south Georgia two-lane, the summer air blowing our hair around as it dried our swimsuits, and I don’t remember if the song came on the radio or if we just started singing it. I’m not sure why this moment in time has stuck with me all these years. I think it was the pure joy of the moment, the carefree happiness of a childhood that was always made better when cousins were around.
A few weeks ago I reunited with Paula for a weekend in Arkansas. It was the first time, probably since that summer, that we had been together for any length of time. In fact, we’d only seen each other 4-5 times in the intervening years. But, there is something about the bond of cousins – the years made no difference – it was like we picked up where we’d left off so many summers ago. We have led such different lives, yet the bond of family and the bond of Christ has held us together. For that I am grateful.
“For the winds of the years have blown between us and the clouds of many storms have danced around us and it was said many times that we were parted, but distance matters not to friendship and there is no such thing as time.” (in a letter to his friend Cluster Baker)
This year I read Woody Guthrie: A Life by Joe Klein. I learned so much but not just about his life, one that was a combination of brilliance and mental illness, but also a lot of our country’s history. His son and his granddaughter followed in his musical footsteps. I hope you’ll take a listen to all three generations.
“Roll with it or get rolled over.” – Raven’s tattoo
I love the story behind this video and I really love the song. I am new to John Moreland, but this caused me to look up some more of his music. Take a listen to Slow Down Easy. And then watch the video below. Don’t cry…
Disney and Nike have propagated such a lie to this generation. I’m all for encouraging kids, even adults, to pursue their dreams. I pursued mine and got my degree at 39. But, I hate the way kids are pumped up and I wonder what happens when they are let down? How do they deal with the broken promises?
I am so ignorant of history, but in reading The City of God by St. Augustine, the comparison of the Untied States to Rome sometimes just jumps out at me. For instance:
“At that time, it was their (Rome) greatest ambition to die bravely or live free; but when liberty was obtained, so great a desire of glory took possession of them, that liberty alone was not enough unless domination also should be sought”
“I do not think that is was by arms that our ancestors made the republic (Rome) great from being small…But it was other things than those that made them great, and we have none of them: industry at home, just government without, a mind free in deliberation, addicted neither to crime nor lust. Instead of these, we have luxury and avarice, …; we laud riches, we follow laziness; there is no difference made between the good and the bad. And no wonder, when every individual consults only for his own good, when you are the slaves of pleasure at home, and in public affairs, of money and favor, no wonder that an onslaught is made upon the unprotected republic.” Cato, as quoted by St. Augustine
more from Cato:
“… the only time at which there existed a just and modern administration was after the banishment of the kings…afterwards the fathers oppressed the people as slaves, flogged them as the kings had done, drove them from their land…”
Kinda puts a different spin on “Make America Great Again” doesn’t it?