Returning from Oceanside,
Somewhere on the stretch between Leucadia and La Jolla,
I am moved by the familiar sounds of Jethro Tull's Benefit album;
Lyrics I've loved for many years draw me once more into their wisdom:
I have changed,
Traveled far since those bittersweet undergraduate days.
How Rachel and I were making dinner at my apartment that summer.
I played this album for her;
She kind of liked it.
She kind of liked me,
But that is a fleeting memory,
A pleasant moment of simple poetry.
I didn't really drive then;
It was so far beyond me.
Now I wade through the river of cars,
Caught in their flow, but not too concerned.
It wasn't always that way.
I pause to consider:
Only noblemen owned wheels in the days of old.
Have we become the nobility of the world
Here in America?
We drive and our society expects it,
Here in California particularly.
It was painful for me learning how:
A chore, a scary, risky business,
And it seemed such a bother having the responsibility
It seems right and good. Now
I am aware that I am behind the wheel and going where I have chosen.
I have a stride and a freedom I've never had before!
I return from a Thanksgiving get-together with Rey and Sara
I never could have attended two years ago
And I'm learning how to go to places I've never gone to before
And getting lost and working it out and
I can feel
That I am different.
I earn my own money,
Pay my own bills,
Engage myself as I wish:
I'm a man!
True, I've never been in a relationship with a woman
And my people skills have not been stellar
But I have POWER now,
Power to change,
Power to shape my life.
The real world is before me,
And I'm no longer as afraid of it.
I needn't be a prisoner anymore.
There is choice and abundance,
And something far, far better than hope:
A wealth of potentials,
Friends and a sense of belonging,
Love and tenderness,
They shall all be within my grasp.
I shall banish worthless hope,
Stand up to what reality demands,
Play the game,
And the Way will work things out.
Who can say how Destiny will do its work?
Maybe not as I would have hoped
Or planned or predicted,
But it will do its work and I will have some say in it.
My will, my actions
Will lead me down this road,
This vast nexus of highways
Which I didn't build,
But which surely lead wherever I might wish to go.
My nature is a projection of Destiny.
My destiny is a projection of my nature.
But my nature and my destiny are mine the same,
My thoughts and acts the vital force.
The road has its perils
But the wheel is in my hands.
At this stage of my life
What more could I ask?
George Chadderdon © 1997