Usually when I get up on Sunday mornings, John is already downstairs getting ready for church. He and Tayler go, I don’t. Not because I don’t believe in God or anything, I just don’t go. I come downstairs and get coffee and go plop in the chair to visit with him for a few minutes before he leaves. And by visit with him, I mean we are both sitting in the chairs just being. Not really talking or anything, just being in each other’s presence.
Sunday Morning is always on. I find most of the stories very informative. They had been teasing this particular one for a while. I also saw it on Facebook. John Mellencamp was going to be on. If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE him. I wrote a blog post about him. You can read it here if you are at all interested. http://peggielarsen.com/under-the-influence/
I was excited to watch the piece on him. Jane Pauley was going to visit him in Indiana, and talk about life, his music and his art. Oh, and his smoking. It was a good interview and it was interesting to just listen to him and for him to tell how much he has evolved. She blasted him a little bit about his smoking, which yeah, I get it. He had a heart attack when he was 42, but that has not deterred him. He likes how it changed his voice. The rasp. The scratch. The money maker. He doesn’t drink. His theory is that if you smoke AND drink, then you will have problems. Otherwise, you’re good.
One thing he talked about, which didn’t make the story was anxiety and panic attacks. There was a bonus interview on his website. I had to watch it. Because stalker. He said in his early 20’s he was paralyzed by panic attacks. His words, “They jumped all over me.” They are real. He said there are some things called drugs that people can take to help with them. I love listening to the inflections in his voice, the scratchiness of his voice—hello cigarettes. He said he has no gray area concerning his health. He’s either okay or he’s dying. He said he goes straight to cancer. So interesting to listen to him open up about that. So interesting also that my friend, Heidi, you know the one who I dragged to his concert, she does the same thing. Straight to cancer. Funny.
He said he wants to learn something or make something every single day. The creative process–tapping into it–being available. I love this. You have to be available in order to create. You have to show up every day. You have to work at it. It’s not some simple little thing. It takes effort and time AND being available. With the creative process, there are no wrong turns. You create.
He reflected on life quite a bit. He talked about the lyric in the song, Longest Days, which says, “Life is short, even in its longest days.” He sure is right about that. Life is so damn short. The meaning in this song is about being sick, and even though the day is long, life is still short. I put my own ideas into that phrase, not taking away at all the true meaning of the song.
My absolute favorite thing he said though: “I’m 65 years old. I can see the finish line from here. I only have so many summers left and I intend not to waste them being old.” LOVE.
SO effing relevant in today’s society. So many people don’t live. They just exist. They don’t smile. They just scowl. They don’t enjoy things. They just go through the motions.
Some day, they will realize that life is short, even in its longest days.