One of my favorite songs is Against the Wind, by Bob Seger. The song was released in 1980 at a time in my life when I was young and foolish and free and impressionable and just beginning to travel down a path that eventually delivered me to where I am now. Hell, yes. Against the Wind was kick-ass back then. The song was so popular and so much air time was given to it that it captured a Grammy Award that same year and embedded itself into the hearts and minds and consciousness of millions of people. Me included.
Changing our points of view is what good art, literature, music and poetry is all about: a glimpse, a sound, a special light or shadow, a hint, the glimmer of something forgotten or sensed for the first time, a recollection or fleeting scent; when it happens we may not even be aware that something amazing has melded with our souls. Bob Seger songs are good at doing that. “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then” is a line from Against the Wind that has stuck with me through the years. Although the words refer to an obvious love affair gone wrong, as I grew older and less foolish and less impressionable, the lyric’s interpretation took on various and more ominous undertones.
Mom passed away in April of this year. She was 95 years old. She once mentioned to me during one of our daily early morning coffee break telephone chats that she had been puzzling over how the things that we learn to do better as we grow older would have helped us so much more if we had known about them when we were young enough to appreciate them better. Wish I didn’t know now what I should have known then.
I can live with that. Mom, I will miss you.
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