24 September 2017: Excerpts of the lyrics from the Eagle’s song The Sad Cafe
As I say good-bye to my first fifty-nine years on planet Earth, The Sad Café, a song by the Eagles, takes on new meaning. It has always been forlorn and haunting; maybe it’s the key it’s performed in, maybe it’s the lyrics, maybe it’s both. One message is certain: dreams that came true, were forgotten, or unattained; inside my Sad Café.
“Out of the silver light, the past came softly calling, I remember the times we spent inside the sad café”
My past does not call softly. We all have memories calling from our pasts––good and bad––but it is what we choose to dwell on in our rearview mirror that makes a difference in our future’s trajectory. It is difficult to navigate forward if the stare is fixed at what is behind. It’s not always an easy thing to do, especially if one has undergone major traumas or abuse.
“Oh, it seemed like a holy place, protected by amazing grace and we would sing right out loud the things we could not say. We thought we could change this world with words like ‘love’ and ‘freedom’.”
Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s words like “love” and “freedom” were constantly in the evening news. That was the extent of my exposure as I lived in a tiny rural community. Watching on three stations available, I remember watching the protests against the Vietnam War, hippies smoking dope in Haight Ashbury, and scenes of Woodstock on the family screen with Mom “pshawing” and Dad’s “dumb bunnies” filling the air.
In my very early years, scenes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights protests, and John F. Kennedy speeches were common. I don’t remember where I was when I heard that news, I was only six years old.
It will take more than mere words to change this world and more than enforceable laws and regulations. To quote Martin Luther King Jr., change will only be “…achieved by true neighbors who are who are willingly obedient to unenforceable obligations.” In other words, change will only come through heart transformation.
“But things in this life change very slowly, if they ever change at all, no use in asking why, it just turned out that way.”
The Eagles are right about this one thing; societal change does change very slowly, but things do change. If you ask why things just “turned out that way’” it might turn out to be related to the choices we have made.
Maslow also believed that life is a series of choices that either led to or moved away from self-actualization; self-actualization is a process—not an end state only. Although most Christians are at odds with the basic tenet of humanistic approach, I believe Maslow was correct in his theory that life is a series of choices that leads to self-actualization and one can realize their full potential by choice. Yet, I also believe that God has made us in his image; and that image includes the capability of making choices for he instilled in humans this thing called free will.
In three days from this writing, I will be 60 years old––my summer of life turns to autumn. As seasons turn, The Sad Café has been meaningful but, I have yet to figure out if the Sad Café was a literal place or a reference to an ideal. Any thoughts?
For complete lyrics clink this link: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eagles/thesadcafe.html