It’s a Jackson Browne song, used in some movie somewhere along the line, sung by the Dark Chanteuse, Nico. Pretty good song too, “These Days.”
“I’ve stopped my dreaming,
I don’t do too much scheming these days,
These days I sit on cornerstones
And count the time in quarter-tones to ten,
Please don’t confront me with my failures,
I have not forgotten them.”
Jackson, I like a lot of his stuff. When we were younger, he and I, I thought he was a whiner, but he has so many successes to look back on, “Doctor My Eyes” alone insures his spot in music history, “Red Neck Friend,” nice little play on words, popularized by the Eagles, no less, he’s in good shape. But he has become contemplative, wondering now, what does it all mean? Boomer Doom, my friends, step up to the mirror and say hello. We are all doomed, and we all wonder, did any of it have any meaning at all?
Was any of it worth the trouble? Is anything at all worth further trouble, any further so-called accomplishment, any further waste of time, would it just be a stupid waste of precious energy to do anything else at all?
There’s a strong argument for just sitting, drinking and eating yourself to death, abusing some lesser beings along the line, so what, none of it has any meaning at all. I wouldn’t want to get the other side of that debate, arguing that things had meaning, arguing that we should be good, like it could mean anything.
In my more lucid moments, I see the big picture, some of it, and I understand that we must strive, that there are things more substantial than our own selfish little point-of-view, an overall direction that we must all move towards, altruistically, as a group, not paralyzed by the myth of individuality, not incapacitated by the obvious meaningless of striving.
But it’s so hard, so hard to see, such a difficult ideal to follow, to understand, such a very difficult goal to visualize, so abstract, so unlike what we see everyday, the shit we wade in, hip deep in the blood and suffering that surrounds us, knocked breathless by the horror of everyday existence.
Failure: to be acknowledged? to be confronted? to be overcome? to be given meaning? Stepping stones for progress?
I still think sometimes that there are things worth doing. It’s just a feeling, it overtakes me when I’m not paying attention, like an itch that is idly scratched before its existence is realized. There are people needing assistance. People whose lives might be amplified by some particularized assistance, something that I could do. Wouldn’t it be “better” to serve the purpose than to simple discount it as a meaningless endeavor?
You tell me. I’m just sitting on the fence, and time is running out.