Sunday’s Theme Music

Well, from sometime yesterday, out walking in the hills, admiring the sunset’s effects on the northern mountains, came some lines from the Styx song, “The Best of Times” (1981).

The headlines read, “These are the worst of times”
I do believe it’s true
I feel so helpless like a boat against the tide
I wish the summer winds could bring back paradise

h/t to

Yes, the helplessness and frustration that seems to permeate so much of life sometimes can make it seem like the worse of times. It’s not for me, of course, but stress, and that sense, comes from that lack of control and the inability to steer things, to be able to take action and change the course before we wreck.

I’m sure most of us have experienced it at least once in a lifetime, where we said, “I know where this is going, and you’re not going to like it.” Then it happens, and all the misery you predicted comes to pass and others ask, “Who could have seen this was going to happen?”

Well, hell, many of us do see these things, but we’re ignored. We don’t get used to that; it’s just frustrating.

Then it all passes, and the courses that you thought should have been taken are, and things go great for a while.

No, I’m not a master prognosticator. I just color my memories with the best of times.


Sunday’s Theme Music

This song, “Goodbye Stranger”, arrived in the stream after watching people at the coffee shop and on the streets, and inadvertently eavesdropping (they speak, I have ears…it happens).

A woman regularly brings her dog into the coffee shop. She usually sits back by the community table, where I like to work when I can. Her dog is often a cause for conversations with others. So I’ve learned that her dog is a rescue from an animal hoarding situation, that she’s had to work with him, that his name is Atlas, that he does much better now, but that other dogs’ barking makes him nervous, that he is her service dog. I’ve learned others had dogs like him, or saved from similar situations. He’s often compared to a Ridgeback but he isn’t one, not a true Ridgeback, she says.

But I’ve never heard her name, or why she needs a service dog, nor why she is bald. She wears dark glasses, but she watches people, back from her space by the wall, with her service dog beside her…

I’ve decided that I don’t want coffee shop friendships. I’m there to work. Cruel of me, innit? So I keep myself to myself, but as I leave each time, I feel her eyes watch me, and imagine I turn my head and say, “Goodbye, stranger.”

But I don’t. It has caused the 1979 Supertramp song to find itself in my stream.


Sunday’s Theme Music

We invited friends to our house to celebrate solstice, an annual tradition. Besides eating, that involves writing wishes and hopes for the future on small scrips of paper, tying them to a Yule log, and burning them.

The food is always simple, bread and soup, along with a veggie and cheese plate, and crackers. This year was lentil soup and spinach tortellini soup, both satisfying and tasty. Spice Wassail, spiked with rum or brandy, and wine, was available.

During the log burning in the backyard, someone requested Jethro Tull, “Ring Out Solstice Bells”, so that was played. The iPad shuffled into a Greg Lake concert after that. Soon we were listening to “From the Beginning”.

It was Lake’s composition, originally done when he was part of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1972). I thought that would be a good song for the day after solstice, so here be Lake in concert, doing “From the Beginning”.

Friday’s Theme Music

This song, “Hold On” (1983) is by Yes and comes from one of my favorite albums, 90125. The song entered today’s song when I was corresponded with someone down who was thinking about different career options, I told them to hold on, of course. Later, reflecting on the exchange, the song came to me. So, I share it with you.

Hold on. Wait. Take your time. See it through.


Friday’s Theme Music

Today’s music choice is a song that keeps stirring during my writing thinking session this week. I’m mulling three different novel ideas. One of them ends up with this song, “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin (1975) in my stream.

I have some vivid impressions of this song on the album that it came from, Physical Graffiti. Nineteen years old, I’d completed basic training the year before, and technical training at the beginning of the year. After that, I was assigned my first duty assignment at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. I met two other guys there. One of them had a Ford Mustang Mach I. He used to play Physical Graffiti on his car’s eight track or his room’s stereo almost all the time. He especially loved “Kashmir”.

Haven’t seen him since 1976, when I left for the Philippines. Wonder what he’s been up to.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

A guy who worked for me at Shaw AFB in South Carolina was a big fan of Ratt, Judas Priest, and Rush. Anniversary dates and weather impressions have kicked memories of the “I was there with <XXX> when…” variety into my stream. So I was thinking of this fellow, Bob, and wondering what happened with him. Smart guy, from Texas, but no Texan accent, he seemed like he was on a slow downward spiral. Going to college but not completing classes, and gaining weight, something we frowned on in the military.

But, thanks to Bob, I’m remembering Rush today and their song, “The Spirit of Radio” (1980). I didn’t get to Shaw until 1985, but Bob loved this song, and played it in our office on a boom box almost every morning.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is perfect for the moment. A cat’s attentions awoke me about five this morning. Dream pieces stayed with me while I attended the cat, and since I was up, visited the water closet. Sometime during this period, ELO’s 1975 song, “I Can’t Get It Out of My Head”, started streaming because I couldn’t get that dream out of my head.

Now, like the title, I can’t get this soft, mystical, prog-rock song out of my head. Over to you.


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