I've been thinking lately about the courses our lives take.
Beginnings and middles and ends. Indeterminate trajectories and the rolling onward of wheels. To be clear: I haven't fallen into a mood hole. I'm just feeling very aware.
What's at work here, mostly, is the fact that I've had some opportunities for quality thinking lately. Combine contemplation time with a shift in seasons and the upcoming holidays and, yeah... you find yourself thinking/writing screwy shit like "indeterminate trajectories and the rolling onward of wheels."
On a lighter but related note, I've also been reading Willie Nelson's autobiography "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die." In addition to being a king hell songwriter (Patsy's "Crazy," Faron's "Hello Walls," and Waylon's "Good Hearted Woman," not to mention his own hits), Willie is a king hell lifeliver. He's clearly my kind of people.
Anyway, the book had me in a Willie way over the weekend, listening to a Willie playlist in a cabin in the snow. After a bulletproof mix of Willie songs I had heard a thousand times before came one I wasn't familiar with: a cover of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" that Willie did with his son Lukas.
Just like Johnny Cash singing NIN's "Hurt" gave it immediate weight, so too does Willie singing "Just Breathe" with his son. But while "Hurt" mostly makes you hurt, "Just Breathe" is a perfect reminder of the things in life that really matter.
If you have a few minutes, give the video a watch. It might add some perspective to the time you'll be spending with family and friends this weekend. At least it did for me. The whole thing definitely puts me in a thanks-giving state of mind.
If you're up for the original, here's a great live version by Eddie and Pearl Jam.