Monday, October 8, 2012

Love Is Still the Answer


It was almost spring, somewhere near the middle of March in 1966. I was almost 13. It was the end of basketball season and my sister and I were waiting for our dad to pick us up at a cafe downtown after the game. It was the first time I was allowed to wait where the older kids hung out. I was standing at the jukebox, listening to a Beatles song - I can't recall now which one, but I do know it was the Beatles - and hoping I was invisible, certainly feeling that I was. I might have been more outgoing than I remember, but what I remember is a very insecure kid hiding herself from the world, maybe even living inside her own world.

So, when I finally sat down in a booth and had pressed myself into the corner with my back to the door, why did Phil McKay, somewhat older new boy in town and a pretty good looking one at that, decide to sit down across from me and start talking music? And not just any music, but he had just left the jukebox where he'd played Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction," and he wanted to talk about the song, what it meant and what was happening in the world, the war in Vietnam, and for some reason he thought I would understand. I think we even had a conversation of sorts. It was a little scary, but kinda nice, to be talking about things that mattered.

Then Dad showed up.




One of the interesting bits of information I picked up today while thinking about Barry McGuire and his song, "Eve of Destruction," is that he changed the lyrics and it now includes the phrase, "Now think of all the hate still living inside us/it's never too late to let love guide us." I don't know if that's an improvement or not, because I like my anti-war songs to remain anti-war just as they were. But I do agree with the idea, the thought. Indeed, it is never too late to let love guide us.

And just what does Buddy have to do with all this? He came into this world knowing that love is the answer. To everything.





36 comments:

  1. Sounds like Buddy is one very good friend and you're both blessed.

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    1. We make a good team, I think. Thanks, Ashling.

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  2. Ah that's a lovely photograph of the handsome Buddy.

    Well you weren't so invisible after all Teresa, an inner light was beckoning to Phil, so maybe it was fortuitous Dad turned up. I imagine he had some questions to put to his thirteen year old eh? Boy I bet it did your self-esteem a power of good though!! ;)))))

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    1. Let's just say Dad walked in with a certain presence, no words necessary. I think Phil spotted him first. :) I'd like to report that my self-esteem was raiseD, but I don't recall, and it certainly didn't seem to assuage my sense of insecurity. The years between 12 and 15 are not years I would ever want to repeat. Thanks, Jane. Always good to hear from you.

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  3. Powerful song. It still takes me back there when I hear it. Mcguire's raw voice made it even more powerful.
    I, too was an insecure young girl. We've come a long way, baby ; ) That is why I use my childhood photo as my profile pic now. To bring that little girl along for the ride.
    And buddy is so sweet!

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    1. It has stood the test of time, unfortunately. I love that you've chosen that pic. I, too, am attempting to "bring that little girl along for the ride." Excellent idea, Cat!

      Thanks!

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  4. Buddy is right. So are you.
    Is there anyone writing anti-war songs now? Or have we all become so used to them (wars, that is) that we hardly notice when a new one starts?

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    1. There are anti-wars songs, I'm certain, but I still tend to reach for the old standbys. New anti-war poetry, also. But I think you're right, we are seeing endless war as a way of life, and it's important that we don't become inured to it.

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  5. Even older new guys didn't talk to younger girls down south from you. You musta been a hottie.

    We learned little from Barry through all those years and yes it's still a powerful song. But our country loves to be at war now and the Nation as a whole condones the ongoing killing of innocents in our name. Where we are at and it sucks big time!

    Every person needs Buddy's.

    My world was so small that when we moved to town I fell in love with several girls and each one turned out to be a third or fourth cousin.

    BUMMER!

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    1. I doubt it was hotness. Maybe we'll just go with that inner light Jane alludes to. LOL Thanks for the thought, though.

      We have learned that war is now a way of life and it doesn't matter who seems to be in power, the hateful game is the same.

      So, how is Stretch doing? Give her a scratch under her chin for me.

      Cousins. That sounds dangerously like a Jeff Foxworthy joke. ;)

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  6. People get manipulated into accepting wars because the system does such a great job of making wars seem necessary or noble. I'm persuaded that our wars today are all about the profit motive, and a few companies like Halliburton are pulling the strings (and getting filthy rich). Meanwhile, I can totally identify with your story. Well into my teens, any time a boy talked to me I was elated, and yet it did nothing to bolster my confidence. What a painful age!

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    1. And when we look back, every war at last since Vietnam, and maybe even before, was all about resources and having geopolitical power bases. More people are waking up, but we have along way to go, it seems.

      Yes, insecurity is a tough nut to crack and I suspect it was there for pretty much everyone. Very painful. :(

      Thanks for your comments, Nancy.

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  7. Love is indeed the answer to everything. George Harrison said so too when he died.

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    1. Basically, his last words, were they not? George is one of my heroes.

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  8. My father's last words were "I love you all." He was speaking to me and my siblings. The unconditional love of our four-legged friends is something I have always cherished. You and Buddy both know that love is the answer...

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    1. What a wonderful final thought from your father.

      Love. What else is there? :)

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  9. In 1966 I was stationed at a Marine Corps base in North Carolina expecting orders to 'Nam. Orders that never came. And I felt bad because I could not go where my friends were dying when I should have been there with them. I did not like the completely politician's war, but neither was I happy with the war at home where my Marine friends were somehow thought of as the enemy in their own country.

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    1. To see those who answered what they saw as a call to duty as the enemy did a disservice to everyone. It was a time of conflict, both internal and external. I'm glad your orders never came.

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  10. Great comments for a great post.
    The Masters of War from both sides of the aisle must be exposed for what they are.

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    1. Thank you, RZ. Exactly so. I'm glad you commented.

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  11. How often have I looked at my pets, and just whispered to them, "You know all the answers, don't you? And simply because you've never asked the questions..."

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    1. Sometimes, we can bury ourselves in questions. It's easier when we just let it all flow through.... :) Thanks, t

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  12. Dogs are born precious chalices of unconditional love. :)

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    1. Beautifully said. You have a wonderful way with words, Rita, and I love hearing from you.

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  13. The first time that I ever heard Eve of Destruction I was 15. The lyrics blew me away. My parents were true blue Americans and thinking about the lyrics really made me feel unsettled. They made sense and they started a long period of change for me that would culminate in 1969 when I went away to the University of New Mexico. The change was permanent, of course, and to this day I often reflect on that particular song.

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    1. I understand. Some songs set something in motion and we are never the same. That was just such a moment for me, also.

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  14. My older sister introduced me to much of the music of this period. I would inherit her old news 45's and may even still have this one in the attic. I remember enjoying the music even when I wasn't in tune with the lyrics. Another thought stirring (peace).

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    1. Now, you're making me feel old. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Good to hear from you.

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  15. My. I haven't heard this in so long, Teresa. Those years. . . these years. I'm sure there are protest songs, I just haven't heard them. They went out of fashion, when? Was it with the Dixie Chicks? At any rate, I'm just catching up from a week up North and here I am, reading your post, remembering the soda jerk that spent five minutes talking to me at Walgreens, making me feel like a million bucks at age 15. Sigh.

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    1. Hi Penny, I know there are protest songs, certainly by Rage Against the machine and such, but I prefer the old ones. And isn't it nice, to have a memory of a time when someone thought to reach out to us?

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  16. Dear Teresa, the comment from Friko and your response seems so perceptive to me about how we have become inured to the presence of violence and war and hatred in our lives.

    The first words Dulcy gave to me after her death--on the day she began to channel her book through me--were "At the end all that matters is love. My love for my human and hers for me. I have planted the memories of our life together in her heart. She will discover them there when I am gone and they will comfort her." Peace.

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  17. Hello Dee, What a beautiful thought Dulcy from you beloved companion. Love is all there is.

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