“Endless Horizon”

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“Endless Horizon” … words and music 2014 by Judson Hair

Sun’s coming up, the tides coming in
A fresh breeze blows from the North
Sea birds are sailing above the white railing
The wind chimes sway back and forth
Gray waves crash … bare feet splash
A fisherman casts out his line
Brilliant blue skies on and endless horizon
Rippling reflected sunshine

I’m leaving footprints in the sand, just the way I planned
Walking through the dunes toward the pier
Feeling spray on my face, all my cares erased
The rolling of the surf is all I hear … the rolling of the surf is all I hear.

The sun’s filtered rays, burn off the haze
Drifting clouds hang in the sky
Pelican’s patrollin’ along the distant shoal and
seagull’s shout out their cry.
Parent’s dream … children scream
A surfer catches a wave.
Castles of sand are carefully planned for
Artwork impossible to save.

I’m leaving footprints in the sand, just the way I planed
Walking through the dunes toward the pier
Feeling spray on my face, all my cares erased
The rolling of the surf is all I hear… the rolling of the surf is all I hear.

The sun’s going down, the tides going out
A hint of chill in the air
Six bells are calling and fresh crab legs boil in
the kettle at the top of the stair.
Night birds fly … wet clothes dry
the fisherman hauls in his line.
Starlight appears on the endless horizon
Rippling reflected moonshine.

I left my footprints in the sand, just as I had planned
Walking from the dunes from the pier
Felt the spray in my face, all my cares erased
The rolling of the surf is all I hear … the rolling of the surf is all I hear. The rolling of the surf is all I hear …

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When You Finally Listen to the Lyrics …

Do you ever find yourself simply enjoying a song without ever giving much thought to the lyrics. I used to happen to me all the time. Particularly back in the day, when songs came on the radio randomly and by chance, and there was no rewind button offering the opportunity to go back and reflect on what the song was “trying to say.”

” …

I remember when Dan Fogelberg had his first hit back in the early 70s with “Part of the Plan” and I thought it was such a great song.  I heard it over and over again but, I never paid much attention to the lyrics.  It just had this driving beat and an incredibly infectious melody that made me look forward to it and stop to enjoy it every time it came on the radio.

Much, much later when I heard it again, I listened to what Dan was saying and though I hesitate to give so much weight to the lyrics of a pop song …

Love when you can
Cry when you have to
Be who you must that’s a part of the plan
Await your arrival
With simple survival
And one day we’ll all understand
One day we’ll all understand

… it occurred to me that the meaning of life might just be contained in those words.

 

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Drilling & Droning … What’er You Gonna Do?

Our home and our little quarter acre is surrounded by a nice white picket fence … we put it up both the keep our dog in, and to keep intruders out.

We like the way it looks.  And we also like the sense of “ownership” that it conveys.

I believe we own this little piece of land.  I have a deed to the property saying it’s mine. 

And that’s all I thought I needed until recently …

Now I wonder … I’m concerned as to who owns the air space above my property and the mineral rights  below it?

When I used Google to gain some sort of insight, I came across this latin saying: Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos which means “whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell.”

http://mentalfloss.com/article/31018/do-you-own-space-above-your-house

This adage may or may not have any sort of legal standing and as I write, I readily admit that haven’t done any research to find out.

Honestly, ownership in this sense is something I had absolutely never worried (or even thought) about.

Real or imagined, I’ve been reading about the threat posed by “Fracking” and “Drones” for some time now.

Then yesterday I visited Barnes & Noble and I was amazed to see that you can buy your very own DRONE there for $299 … yes, they had a display drone set up right beside the Starbucks coffee kiosk!

Admittedly, I hadn’t been to Barnes & Noble in a long time … essentially, not since since I got my (Amazon driven) Kindle reader for Christmas a couple of years ago … so seeing how they are diversifying their product mix was a bit of a surprise.

I made a light-hearted comment about the Barnes & Noble drone in a post on FaceBook and immediately drew a comment from a friend who assured me that if a drone appeared above his home, he would “shoot it down” …

While my first inclination was to agree.  It made me wonder about the right to fly a drone over someone elses house and the right to shoot it down if it bothered you.

And if I can shot down your drone, what can I do when your drill stops going down on your quarter acre and turns 90 degrees to head over toward mine?

I dunno … life just gets more and more complicated.

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I’ve Become a Lazy Writer …

For some time now, I’ve experienced a severe downturn in my level of creativity. I find myself struggling to self-generate much enthusiasm.

I’ve become a lazy writer …

While I’m finding it hard to get anything going from scratch, I’ve had better luck reacting to some of the interesting topics posted by other bloggers.

I think this may be an effective catalyst for my writer’s block!

My plan is to begin reading other blogs more regularly, and to occasionally make comment hoping that my response to the thoughts of others will jump start my own creative thought process, perhaps germinating a blog post of my own.

I’m 99.9% sure this is not a new idea … but, it’s new to me. Wish me luck!

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How Old are You? … Really??

I enjoy celebrating milestones … but I’ve come to strongly dislike dividing my life up into years.

We all know we have but a finite number of “years” on this Earth.

However, we have the opportunity to experience an infinite number of milestones …

The old adage “How old would you be if you had no idea how old you actually were?” always encourages me.

It makes me want to try my best to only BE as old as I FEEL, and to always try my best to feel young as possible!

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“Learning How to See”

“Learning How to See” … words and music by Judson Hair 2013

When he finally settled down back in his old hometown
With the weight of all the past inside his head
He woke up that first day with his spirit in decay
Over something he recalled that she had said

She said comin’ back home won’t be easy for you boy
Once you think you’ve left it all behind
Learnin’ how to see will be harder than it seems
Once you have discovered you’ve been blind

When he left her standin’ there he could see it all so clear
A year away would do ‘em both some good
She couldn’t understand when he let go of her hand
And probably she never really would

If you go and leave, are you ever comin’ back?
Will I ever see you anymore?
He slowly walked away and she saw him disappear
Then she turned and very gently closed the door

Time is a healer or so somebody said
Time makes the heart grow fonder yet
Time spent running from the things that matter most of all
Is something you’re not likely to forget

Filled with deep remorse when the day had run its course
He traced his footsteps from a year before
He said a silent prayer as he lingered on the stair
Then reached to gently tap upon her door

He thought, comin’ back home ain’t been easy has it boy?
Once you thought you’d left it all behind
Learnin’ how to see can be harder than it seems
Once you have discovered you’ve been blind

Frozen into place as she stared into the face
Of the one who walked away a year ago
The gift that she’d been blessed she held tightly to her chest
Image of the man she still loved so

She said, welcome back home we’ve been waitin’ for you boy
We prayed you wouldn’t leave us both behind
Open up your eyes, it ain’t so hard to do
Now that you’ve admitted you’ve been blind

Time is a healer or so somebody said
Time makes the heart grow fonder yet.
Comin’ back home to all the things that matter most of all
Is something we’re not likely to regret

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“‘Because of You”

“Because of You” …. words and music by Judson Hair 2014

For all the time I’ve spent right here in this place
All the things that I’d do, all the dreams that I’d chase
The promise of tomorrow, the problems of today
Surround me like so many jars of clay

Winter clouds hung heavy I the sky
Shadows cast a pall before my eye

So much beauty left unseen, so much left to do
I’m finally getting started ’cause of you

Starting now, I’ll start again to form the remedy
To be the man I always meant to be

For all the time I spent looking back at the past
All the things that I missed for things that really don’t last
For worrying about tomorrow, instead of living for today
Just makes me want to hit my knees and pray

The melting snow came rushing down the hill
The hardened ice broke loose to free my will

So much good work left undone, so much left to do.
I’m finally getting started ’cause of you

I’m finally getting started ’cause of you.

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FaceBook Quandry … What Do You Do When A Friend Dies?

I have a quandary …

Maybe it’s just me. I don’t know.

I like FaceBook, I really do …

In spite of the many annoying “improvements” that have been added to FaceBook over the past couple of years, the basic qualities are still there.

Mainly, I like the way it has allowed me to re-connect with old friends and helped me to make new ones. Facebook allows me to stay in contact with people I like. People I don’t see every day … people I actually never see at all.

While I steadfastly refuse take part in any of the multitude of clever schemes that the creators offer to entice us to give up our personal information, I log into FaceBook almost every single day, just to see what others are doing and to let them know what I’m up to.

For me, a visit to Facebook is almost always uplifting and enjoyable.

But, occasionally it’s a sad experience. Sometimes I log in to find that someone is ill, has suffered a set-back, or that someone near to them has died.

Once in a while, it’s the FaceBook friend themselves who has passed away … and this is my quandary.

When a FaceBook friend dies, they’re gone. Obviously you can no longer maintain the normal social connection that FaceBook was designed to create.

But, for whatever reason, the Facebook pages of friends who have died are rarely taken down.

There doesn’t seem to be any particular protocol. And maybe there shouldn’t be one. Someone from the family generally posts the sad news. Others pay their last respects and give testimony to how much they will miss their friend. and that’s it.

From that point, the FaceBook page becomes frozen in time, a constant reminder that a person we knew and considered a friend is no longer with us.

Still, an icon with their smiling face appears on our friends list.

Still, we are notified when they have a birthday pending.

Still, we are asked to suggest other friends for them.

In short, FaceBook becomes a sort of cyber purgatory for our departed friends. And it’s all a bit weird and disconcerting.

But, what are the options? Because they are still my friend, I do not care to “Unfriend” someone who has died.

It leaves me a bit bewildered.

Like I say, maybe it’s just me. I don’t know.

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Reflections Upon a Structured Life …

When I let my friends and colleagues know that I was ready to hang it up and retire, one of the first things I was told was that I would miss the “structure” … they were convinced I wouldn’t know what to do with myself or my time.

Well, I am happy to report that after 3 months, I’ve found this prediction to be completely false!

In fact, just the opposite has prove to be true.  I absolutely love getting up each day knowing that for the most part, I can do exactly what I want to do, and I can do it whenever I choose.

It’s been liberating. It’s been inspiring. It’s been glorious!

I have absolutely no structure whatsoever and I am loving it!

Perhaps this directionless existence will wear thin at some point down the road. I don’t know.  But’ so far so good.

I love the saying, “Get a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

What a wonderful concept and absolutely correct I every way!  If only it were that easy.

I have known many people who felt lost when their careers came to an end.  They had been so intimately tied to their “work” that they were not happy in its absence.  They felt they had lost their identity and felt rather meaningless.

For me, my career was never my life … in fact, it was the biggest obstacle to me being able to live my life.  But, don’t misunderstand me on this.  My career provided a comfortable life for me and my family.  So comfortable in fact, that it kept me prisoner for well over 30 years doing a meaningless job that put bread on the table.  Still, I don’t resent my career and I have few real regrets because honestly, I don’t have any reason to believe that my life would have been nearly as fulfilled if I’d tried to make a living following my passion as a young man rather than seeking something that had immediate payback and long-term employment  potential. 

Frankly, I’m comfortably retired now at a relatively early age with the ability to follow my passion, simply because I stuck with a career that forced me to plan for later life and provided me with a means.

So, here I am … doing the things I always wanted to do in life, but doing them without the pressure of having to make a living from it.

If I’d had the courage, I could have been a starving artist.  It would have been easy and I most probably would have starved indeed. Instead, I married the person who has become my best friend and the love of my life.  We have three wonderful children and we are financially safe and secure at a time when so many are not.

For so many reasons, I am thankful that my life followed the structure that it did. Structure is a good thing when it’s necessary … but, now structure has no place in my life, and life is GOOD!!

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Becoming a Good Songwriter …

Once I get started , songwriting comes pretty easy to me and I’ve found that composing lyrics is a natural intuitive process that draws heavily on my poetic ability.

Over the years I’ve written a lot of poetry and I’ve found that my poetry is many times, just a song waiting to be put to a melody.

But, I have a couple of problems that have become fairly significant roadblocks.

First of all … my strong suite is in writing lyrics.  I’m much less adept at coming up with compelling melodies.  I’ve got tons of words, just waiting for the right tune. I probably should work with someone else, but I’ve never been much of a collaborator, feeling that a song is a work of art and drawing from the inspiration of another artist to finish the work has never particularly appealed to me.

Secondly, for whatever reason, I currently seem incapable of writing any songs that are generally up-beat and positive.  Even the songs I write that are reasonably optimistic end up being bittersweet and a bit cynical.  Right now, I just cannot seem to write fluffy, feel good songs.

For me, writing a song requires that I draw heavily from how I am feeling at the time.  This is okay.  I’m not trying to produce songs-by-the-number nor to write specifically to please others.  And really, if my feelings were not legitimate, “The Blues” would not have become such a popular musical genre.   But, still … I’d like to work from a broader palette.  While composing songs that make people think, occasionally I’d also like to write songs that make people want to tap their feet, sing along, and even laugh!  So far, I’ve come up dry … so I’ve taken what is for me a big step.

I’ve joined a local songwriter’s association in hopes of expanding my horizons gaining some insights into the craft of songwriting.  If nothing else, this should be interesting.  I hope my skin is thick enough to accept criticism. I believe I’ll be fine as long as long as it’s constructive criticism.

I hope that the members of the group know the difference between being honest and being brutally honest.  I think I’m ready for the honesty … but the brutality, I could probably do without.

If things get too bad, I suppose I can always write a song about it …

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