Our title is inspired by a quote from the song Learning to Fly from Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse of Reason album: “Tongue-tied and twisted, just an Earthbound misfit am I.” Another song from that same Pink Floyd album captures the kind of acceptance of our inevitable demise due to our addicted state that author Elizabeth West models so well in the featured interview. Actually, it’s a mini-set comprised of A New Machine with its lyrics about “doing time” and the intervening instrumental Terminal Frost that captures the poignancy of our predicament. Here are those lyrics (which I have often thought would make a good epitaph in case of compassionate self-deliverance):
A New Machine
I have always been here
I have always looked out from behind these eyes
It feels like more than a lifetime
Feels like more than a lifetime
Sometimes I get tired of the waiting
Sometimes I get tired of being in here
Is this the way it has always been?
Could it ever have been different?
Do you ever get tired of the waiting?
Do you ever get tired of being in there
Don’t you worry; nobody lives forever
Nobody lives forever
[bridge – Terminal Frost (instrumental)]
I will always be here
I will always look out from behind these eyes
It’s only a lifetime; it’s only a lifetime
It’s only a lifetime
Elizabeth West’s website is Love’s Longing. Her book is titled Love is the Way: Daily Offerings from the Guides for Living Luminously.
The opening song is the context for one of my favorite quotes: “Life is the chance we take when we make this Earth our home.” And like any other gamble (quoting Emanuel Tanay (1928 – 2014), Polish-American physician, forensic psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor), “There are no guarantees. From the viewpoint of fear, none are strong enough. From the viewpoint of love, none are necessary.” And that’s why I can move toward Planetary Hospice with acceptance and compassion. Here are the lyrics for Peace Is by Frederick Small from his album The Heart of the Appaloosa:
Peace is the bread we break
Love is the river rolling
Life is a chance we take
When we make this earth our home
Gonna make this earth our home.
Feel the cool breeze blowing through the smoke and the heat
Hear the gentle voices and the marching feet
Singing call back the fire, draw the missiles down
And we’ll call this earth our home.
We have known the atom, the power and pain
We’ve seen people fall beneath the killing rain
If the mind still reasons and the soul remains
It shall never be again.
Peace grows from a tiny seed
As the acorn grows into the tallest tree
Many years ago I heard a soldier say
When people want peace, better get out of the way.