if I had an anthem…

I’ve probably written enough about Bob Schneider so that you know by now I think Lovely Creatures is the perfect combination of songs to nurse one’s heart through a divorce. There’s the heartbreaking Changing Your Mind, the bitter Realness of Space, the romantic and hopeful 40 Dogs, the jaunty Till Somebody Catches a Feeling and the poignant Bicycle vs. Car…and more.

But what if I had a song of my own that defined where I’m at in life? What might that be? I know what it used to be — I listened to this song over and over in my late twenties, and I’ve recently re-discovered At This Point In My Life by Tracy Chapman. In a word, it’s all about redemption.

Here are the lyrics; they might give you an idea of why this song so resonates with me:

“…At this point in my life, I’ve done so many things wrong, don’t know if I can do right
If you put your faith in me, I hope I won’t let you down
If you give me a chance I’ll try…

You see it’s been a hard road, the road I’m traveling on
And if I take your hand, I might lead you down the path to ruin
I’ve had a hard life, I’m just saying it so you’ll understand
That right now, right now, I’m doing the best I can
At this point in my life

At this point in my life, although I’ve mostly walked in the shadows,
I’m still searching for the light
Won’t you put your faith in me
We both know that’s what matters
If you give me a chance I’ll try

You see I’ve been climbing stairs, but mostly stumbling down
I’ve been reaching high, always losing ground
You see I’ve conquered hills, but I still have mountains to climb
And right now, right now I’m doing the best I can
At this point in my life

Before we take a step, before we walk down that path,
Before I make any promises, before you have regrets,
Before we talk commitment, let me tell you ’bout my past —
What I’ve seen and what I’ve done, things I’d like to forget
At this point in my life

At this point in my life, I’d like to live as if only love mattered,
As if redemption was in sight,
As if the search to live honestly is all that anyone needs,
No matter if you find it.

You see when I’ve touched the sky, Earth’s gravity has pulled me down
But now I’ve reconciled that in this world
Birds and angels get the wings to fly
If you can believe in this heart of mine,
Oh, if you can give it a try,
Then I’ll reach inside and find and give you  all the sweetness that I have
At this point in my life…”

Let me be clear:  In the scheme of things, I truly don’t believe that I’ve had a difficult life — that’s not the part I relate to. It’s the sheer humility of acknowledging that I have a past; I have failed at relationships and I want to do better, try harder. It’s the hopefulness, the possibility — in her words, “to live as if only love mattered, as if redemption was in sight…as if the search to live honestly is all that anyone needs, no matter if you find it.”

And someday, when I meet my match, I’m going to reach inside, find and give him all the sweetness that I have!

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About failedatforty


2 responses to “if I had an anthem…

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