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  • AN AMERICAN TUNE
    (words by Paul Simon music by JS Bach)

    Many's the time I've been mistaken, and many times confused
    Yes, and I've often felt forsaken, and certainly misused.
    But it's all right, it's all right, I'm just weary to my bones
    Still, you don't expect to be bright and Bon Vivant
    So far away from home, so far away from home.


    I don't know a soul who's not been battered
    Don't have a friend who feels at ease
    Don't know a dream that's not been shattered
    Or driven to it's knees.
    But it's all right, all right, For we've lived so well so long
    Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on,
    I wonder what’s gone wrong? I can't help it
    I wonder what’s gone wrong?


    And I dreamed I was flying. I dreamed that my soul rose
    unexpectedly, and looking back down on me, smiled
    reassuringly, and I dreamed I was dying.
    And far above, my eyes could clearly see
    The Statue of Liberty, drifting away to sea
    And I dreamed I was flying.


    We come on a ship they call the Mayflower,
    We come on a ship that sailed the moon
    We come in the age's most uncertain hour
    And sing an American tune
    But it's all right, it's all right
    You can't be forever blessed
    Still, tomorrow's gonna be another working day
    And I'm trying to get some rest,
    That's all, I'm trying to get some rest.


    Thank you, Alex, for your Liberty piece. Right around the second or third line of it, this song just started playing in my mental soundtrack, completely unbidden, and brought back a flood of memories of a time in my past, in our past, when things looked dark, indeed. That was nearly 40 years ago. Some pieces are, indeed, timeless. This song rings as true today, 40 years later, as it did then – in fact, it may even resonate more truly today than it did then. It did make me wonder, though, if this song might not have been inspired by Wyeth’s piece – which came first? They both make a similar statement, at least to me.


    Personally, that time was a much darker night of my soul. The last couple lines of this were such balm for my troubled soul then. But even so, they are to me now, when I find myself awake for no apparent reason long before the sun has stirred, before the first birds are chirping.

    Here’s an early morning prayer that Liberty finds her way back into the land that once claimed her for its own, but no longer has that right. Not when so many remain oppressed by her laws, by her religiously-fueled hatreds, unthinking ignorance and arrogance, and unfeeling inhumanity towards their fellow human beings.

    Let Freedom Ring once again across the land. Across the Globe. Let our LGBT friends, our brothers and sisters, be able to one day soon, very soon, be able to stand up, stand together, and echo the words of one of the great men of my time, and say “Free at last…free at last…thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

    Let it be so. Let it be soon.

    This is my prayer, this pre-dawn. The birds have now picked up the chorus and soon, the sun will join in. Let me close with one other anthemic thought that harkens back to another time, but has much the same meaning today.

    Let the sunshine in. Let it shine. Another day begins in the American South. Make it a good one.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    Painting by an unknown artist, hanging on a wall in a Physical Therapist’s waiting area in Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina. A wonderful and unexpected pleasure about this area is, wherever you go here, there are tons of local artists’ work hanging on the walls – restaurants, doctor’s offices, stores – a real delight.
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