Friday, November 04, 2011

Cactus Tree

There's a man who's been out sailing
In a decade full of dreams
And he takes her to a schooner
And he treats her like a queen
Is love just the release of chemicals in the brain to aid in the procreation of the species? Do you know anyone over 50 who is in love?

A girl pours a shot of expresso into my coffee at Starbucks. It's 6:00am and I am not at my best. I think and feel, yes, I can fall in love with her. But all that comes out is a "Thank you," and a one dollar tip. Out of some distant memory I hear Joni Mitchell.

I sent M a text message about our times together. It was too early to call her and by writing it down I wouldn't catch her by surprise. Maybe what comes back is thought out, felt out, honesty.
There's a man who's sent a letter
And he's waiting for reply
He has asked her of her travels
Since the day they said goodbye
He writes "Wish you were beside me
We can make it if we try"
Thirty years ago, by now I would be holding hands with the girl from Starbucks. Small talk chit-chat would have led to the abandonment of our customer-barista roles and lead to the magical creation of chemicals, hope and budding feelings The dance of love. But now the days turn colder, light becomes dimmer, we don't think about love, we think about the end of days. Love never is lost, it just disappears.
There's a man who's climbed a mountain
And he's calling out her name
And he hopes her heart can hear
Three thousand miles he calls again
He can think her there beside him
He can miss her just the same
Then one day we find ourselves in that one last great love of our lives. We won't know when its over until its gone. I can count them all on one hand, the real ones, the great ones, the magical, romantic, intense ones, before they disappeared.

But not this one. I'm not ready to let her go.

She will love them when she sees them
They will lose her if they follow
And she only means to please them
And her heart is full and hollow
Like a cactus tree
While she's so busy being free


Roger said...

Hi Allan,

Of late I have been an infrequent visitor to your blog. But your musings of years ago in other venues still echo in my mind.

I appreciate your uncommon transparency in sharing the joys and sorrows of your life. You are fine tuned to the music of life like few others I have known.

I suppose if we were all honest, we would acknowledge our hunger for more of the best that life has to offer. For me, it is an eternal longing...knowing intuitively that there has to be something more than this. Otherwise disappointment and discouragement would shadow all of us.

Steve Job's last words on planet earth were, "Wow, wow, wow!" We'll never know if he was hallucinating or seeing "something(s)" clearly for the first time.

I wish you lots of continuing wows, now and in the future. May you always be surprised by joy, with the pain now being part of the joy to come. (I borrowed that thought from C.S. Lewis.)

I still believe that love, though deeply wounded, never dies.

Roger Austin

A said...


It is so comforting to hear from you again, to know that you are still out there, still visit this piece of me, that you understand and most of all, that you do not, nor have you ever, judged.

In case you are wondering, it was worth it all, not only for what was discovered along the way, but what was waiting for me in the beauty of the desert. By what other explanation is there, but that of a grand design?


Roger said...


Thanks for the response. I like your metaphor of the desert as the optimum place for discovery and reflection on what truly matters.

You are a natural teacher of many things. You share honestly and openly in the marketplace of life.

Love quiets our questions, for sure. It is a privilege and reward beyond measure to love and to be loved, even when all our vulnerabilities are exposed to maximum risk.

But the music of love is higher than the songs that we can sing. I like to think that the best love music is yet to come. If we heard it now we would perish like the mythical sailors of old who could not resist the sirens. Love is a consuming fire and we are not quite fireproof :)

The Author of love is right. The rest of us are just guessing. I agree that there is a grand design and we will somehow see the finished product. It will be very good, beyond imagination...fulfilling our hearts desires.

I think that love has contingency plans for every conceivable situation. Love allows free will. That is loves biggest gift to us. Not all human choices have good results. But love is sovereign still. How, I have no idea? I could guess. I just trust. The journey has just begun. Death does not get the final say in the matter.

The cynic in me scoffs. It says that hypocrisy and betrayal wins in the end and then we are all dead. I laugh at the cynic's stupidity. Love has won me over.

It's good to muse out loud with you. Most of my friends don't know I am this introspective and sappy :)


Anonymous said...

Allan and Roger,you are fine and true.

Keep musing here. Not too many get it.

I appreciate all!

Roger said...

This song came to mind today as I thought about a dear friend who is in deep water. The lyrics go deep and the music moves with power and purpose.

I don't know how to help her except to try to identify with her difficulty and listen. But I do know that it is in unlikely places like deep water (or the desert) that we are most likely to find what we are looking for.