5/26/2008

Throw Down the Sword

My old blogging friend, Bill and I have been talking for some time about how we've gotten out of the political blogging business. We both have had our reasons from wanting to enjoy time with partners or family to simply deciding that it was time to pass the torch to others.

In my case, after coming near death while awaiting a liver transplant it became obvious to me that if I survived there was far too much in life to enjoy without spending hours and hours angry, upset, or incensed about politics.

When I used to blog about politics I invariably found myself upset and often felt cut off from those around me as I discovered all the wonderful ways that human beings try to harm one another, from religious bigotry in all its wondrous forms to social intolerance to economic disenfranchisement.

The more I yelled the more I became depressed by the whole process. Many times it felt like I was beating my head against a wall.

After my transplant, I decided that life was too short to continue to fight. People have a tendency to do what they will and losing my sanity screaming about did not seem to make a lot of difference. Besides, I have a wonderful partner, Michael whose company I enjoy above all others. Though he shares my politics I realized that the hours I spend screaming at conservative radicals and religious bigots were hours that I wasn't enjoying his beautiful music, his wonderful personality, and his incredible love of life. My yelling at the idiocy of religious doctrine was not going to change the mind of even one true believer. My screams of outrage about Abu Ghraib were not going to shift the opinions of any Conservative radical who saw all people of Arab descent as fodder for the torture mills.

Recently, Michael was telling of a band he enjoyed during his high school days called Wishbone Ash. Somehow, I'd never managed to hear them despite my preference for early 70's rock and Progressive Rock in particular. So, he introduced me to his favorite song by them, "Throw Down the Sword". Although, somewhat an anti-war message on the surface as I listened to the lyrics they seemed to speak to a deeper meaning for me.

Throw down the sword,
The fight is done and over,

Neither lost, neither won.

To cast away the fury of the battle

And turn my weary eyes for home.

There were times
when I stood at deaths own door

Only hoping for an answer.


Throw down the sword,

And leave the glory -

A story time can never change.


To walk the road,
the load I have to carry -

A journeys end, a wounded soul.


There were times
when I stood at deaths own door

Only searching for an answer.
Isn't that just a great sentiment for those of us who fought the good fight for so long and must now pass that torch to others who have the youth and energy to keep going?

What's even better is that Michael is teaching me to play it with him on guitar. I took guitar when I was about 10 or 11 years old and learned nothing more than "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for which I had bleeding fingers! I put down the guitar and resigned myself to my fate as a fan of the instrument and nothing else.

Today, I actually began playing the opening of this beautiful song. That was incredible!

So, at the risk of being flippant: I've thrown down the sword and maybe now I can pick up an axe. Sorry, that was bad.

Check out this beautiful song here.

And here's a video of Wishbone Ash playing it in concert:

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