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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Yearning to Fly


Tom Petty's passing had some impact on me lately.

I know that, being the younger generation in this blog, I have not many rights to nostalgia, but that's how I have been feeling. Every music I hear from the 80's makes me go back to my infancy, and I have been feeling older than I actually am.

Petty was inspired by the first Iraq war when composing this piece. I still remember the night shots from the cockpit of the US fighters, the green letters from those old screens they had, the missiles being shot. To think Hey Skipper was actually one of those guys up there...

I once wished to learn to fly, but I ain't got wings. I feel soon I won't have the age too. I am 36 years old, and I know part of my blues comes not from missing the past, but anticipating the future. Soon the 40's will come, and any claim to youthfulness I once had will be gone. You guys who have been through that road, pray tell me, how hard is it? Petty was 40 in the video above, and now he is gone.


Tomorrow I borrow a couple of wings, I am going to America again. Taking the kids to Disney the first time, will do lots of pictures and videos, so they can look at them 40 years from now and feel, too, how time goes by.

4 comments:

erp said...

... not to be flippant, if I don't look in the mirror, I feel exactly the same as I did in high school coming up to 70 years ago. Hector wasn't even a pup then.

If you want to fly my boy, then do it. Don't put it off.

Hey Skipper said...

Every music I hear from the 80's makes me go back to my infancy, and I have been feeling older than I actually am.

Being on the tail end of the Baby Boom, classic rock is what I grew up with. And I unapologetically insist that bands like Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, just to name a couple, were uniquely gifted. And also marvel at the fact that they remain sui generis -- they left no descendants. There could be a moral about evolution in there someplace.

After living overseas for a few years, I came back to the US in the mid-80s, and was introduced to alternative rock. So, even though I was by then 30, that same music takes me right back.

(BTW, I went to iTunes and bought that Petty track -- thanks for the pointer.)

(BTW II: Pink Floyd also learns to fly.)

I once wished to learn to fly, but I ain't got wings. I feel soon I won't have the age too.

Age isn't so much the issue as obligations. It is far easier to do things we want to do when there aren't very many things we have to do. Flying is ferociously expensive. I'd like to have a race car and a sail boat, but I ain't got the wings.

Soon the 40's will come, and any claim to youthfulness I once had will be gone. You guys who have been through that road, pray tell me, how hard is it?

To put things in perspective, I'm 62. In my late 30s, I was flying from Scotland back to my base in southern England, and was treated to a particularly beautiful night with northern lights, satellites, a crescent moon. Unbidden, the thought hit me that one of these days, I no longer be around to see such a thing, or anything, for that matter.

It was like someone poured ice water down my spine.

And for the next fifteen or so years, that thought was never very far away.

Since then? Meh. So in that regard, it isn't hard. YMMV.

Physically, things start going distinctly downhill sometime during the 50's. I'm a Lance Armstrong wannabe, except that my lungs are shallow, legs rubbery, and I don't do drugs. My sustained pace is down 20% from 10 years ago. Muscle mass is evaporating. I'm having to be careful in ways I didn't even used to think about.

Thankfully, if there is a thankfully to be had here, it is like a frog getting boiled two degrees at a time.

On a more optimistic note, I am less fussed by achieving, and far more inclined to find satisfaction in the belief, or delusion, that most people I know, particularly my wife and children, don't regret having made my acquaintance.

As opposed to, say, Harvey Weinstein.

erp said...

Skipper, your last sentence above should be etched in marble and I'm pleased to say, we here are very pleased to have made your acquaintance.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Well, thanks for your thoughts on aging. It does help having other people's perspectives.

Jethro Tull, I am sorry to tell you, never made such a great impression to my ears. But it was so long a time since I've heard them, maybe I should give them a second chance.

Pink Floyd, OTOH, needs no comments. They were my selected soundtrack for the months I was working on my PhD thesis - I would spend the days in the computer, headphones on, listening to them while typing. It is pretty hard to find music that actually helps me to write, because it needs to give you inspiration while not distracting from the job, so they are that good.

---
[Clovis] I once wished to learn to fly, but I ain't got wings. I feel soon I won't have the age too.

Age isn't so much the issue as obligations. It is far easier to do things we want to do when there aren't very many things we have to do. Flying is ferociously expensive. I'd like to have a race car and a sail boat, but I ain't got the wings.
---
Indeed. I could be using my money to pay for some course on flying, but instead I made a huge (to my standards) 30 years loan and I am building a house, which is also pretty cool in its own way, but only adds to my feeling of passing of times.