Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Got a spot on the top of my head, begging for a new toupee
And a tire on my gut from sitting on my...
But they're never gonna go away
Sometimes I get this crazy dream
That I just drive off in my car
But you can travel on ten thousand miles and still stay where you are
Harry Chapin, "W.O.L.D."

There are probably a number of you reading this blog who've never heard of Harry Chapin... Harry died in a car accident in 1981. Heck, I was just a junior in high school.

Though you may not know Harry, you may well know one of his songs. Ugly Kid Joe covered Harry's "
Cat's In the Cradle", a profoundly moving song about how easy it is to squander your family. Others of you may know of his musical, "Cotton Patch Gospel," which sets the story of Jesus in the Deep South. Me, I'm partial to his odd but affecting folk tragedy, "30,000 Pounds of Bananas".

Anyway, Harry's not the point of the post... just a nice cultural aside for me to springboard into ther real reason for blogging this morning:

I'm getting old.

No, really. I know that 41 isn't exactly "grave-ready", but I'm not feeling like a young turk, either.

And it's not about my birthday last week - this has actually started the day I got the flyer/magazine for the Cornerstone Festival back in the spring. This is THE premier festival for alternative/edge/hard rock Christian music - and I've wanted to go to this for years.

But now I find that I'm no longer a Main Stage guy. Back in the early 90's, the headlining bands were right up my alley: Steve Taylor, the 77's, Resurrection Band, One Bad Pig, etc. Flash forward to 2005, and I realize that I'm now a Coffehouse Stage guy: my favorite albums currently include Derek Webb's "The House Show", Caedmon's Call's "Share The Well", and Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama's "There Will Be A Light".

Yes, I'm now the guy drinking an espresso and giving polite golf claps - no longer am I in danger of flinging myself off the balcony (Whiteheart "Light A Candle" tour) or standing in the mosh pit to protect a teenager wearing a neck brace (Steve Taylor "Liver" tour) or dancing until I nearly collapse (DC Talk "Jesus Freak" tour). And I don't even drink espresso.

OTOH, I did manage to block a sizzling spike from a 19 year old (hi, Luke!) in a game of volleyball Sunday night - right back across the net for a point. Of course, the fact that I feel compelled to mention this just confirms I'm growing old, right? :-)


keithmonaghan said...

So true, my friend.

Had two W.O.L.D. moments myself this year that you may appreciate-- considering how long we've known each other.

First, seeing my favorite band, Trashcan Sinatras, in a small club here in Portland, twice, and realizing that aside from the band's crew (who were inexplicably old), I was the oldest person there by at least 15 years. Certainly the grayest.

Second, watching, and actually enjoying, Pink Floyd's Live 8 performance.

Some quotes to ease the painfull reality...

The pride of youth is in strength and beauty, the pride of old age is in discretion. -- Democritus (460 BC - 370 BC)

Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives. -- Maurice Chevalier (1888 - 1972)

Age to me means nothing. I can't get old; I'm working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you're working, you stay young. When I'm in front of an audience, all that love and vitality sweeps over me and I forget my age. -- George Burns (1896 - 1996)

Anonymous said...

Depends on who you talk to. That 13 year old that hangs out with us all the time thinks we're pretty grave-ready, I'll bet. ;-)

Ed Rozmiarek said...

I'm the same age as you Mark and I just got a shocking piece of junk mail last week. Yes, from that dreaded group.... AARP!

I'm so not ready to think about joining that group. Anyway, reading the flyer it stated "Now that you are 50...". I don't know where they got their data, but they are way off on my age.