The Old Ball And Chain

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory… as the wish to forget it.”

Michel de Montaigne

That was the ending quote for last night’s “Foundation” episode of one of my favorite TV shows – Criminal Minds. And, almost everyday of my life, I have the truth of those words driven home by one or more of those completely involuntary, flashback-induced, full-body shudders. A natural consequence, I suppose, of having a conscience and an ego with a combined mass greater than what my poor head was meant to contain.

But there are other, even harder to live with consequences of being unable (or unwilling) to let go of the past…

The non-stop drumbeat of “Why? Why? Why?!?!” is one.

 

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by

When “happily ever after” fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly

But I know a place where we can go
That’s still untouched by man
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind

You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king

Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie

But I know a place where we can go
And wash away this sin
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind

Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us

I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye

Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

And the loneliness that results from having no good answers to give is another.

 

Sleepless hours and dreamless nights and far aways
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Heaven knows and Lord it shows when I’m away
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here

Same old show in a different town on another day
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Even though you’re far away, you’re on my mind
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here

And I’d like to change my life, and you know I would
Just to be with you tonight, baby, if I could
But I’ve got my job to do, and I do it well
Change my life, so I guess that’s how it is

Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here

On the road it’s a heavy load, but I’ll be by
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Pay the price, make a sacrifice, and still I’ll try
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here
Ooo ooo ooo, wishing you were here

I want ice water.

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48 thoughts on “The Old Ball And Chain

  1. Great quote. And I identify with your “being unable (or unwilling) to let go of the past…” Our pasts are permanent and unchangeable, and like it or not we’re stuck with them. We hear “let it go” and “move on” all the time, but I’ve never heard anyone explain exactly how to “let go” of the past. I could really use some instructions on that because there are definitely some things I’d like to let go.

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    • Oh you really nailed it there PT! Having to listen to lame advice is one of the things that make talking about my problems so hard to do. And as far as “how-to instructions” are concerned, not even the army of shrinks I’ve seen have provided good advice there! 😀

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  2. i don’t think it is possible to let go…all you can do is put it in a box and tape it up then shove it in a cupboard…but tiny tendrils will always reach out to you
    oh and how did you get those boxes with the text scrolling…i love thos

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  3. Omigawd. I almost used the opening quote from the show in my post today. I love Criminal Minds, and last night’s show was one of the best episodes ever. It really got to me.

    So true about living in the past, just can’t seem to get in the now. As for the two songs, big ol blasts from the past. “End of the Innocence” remains one of those songs that will never get old, though.

    Take care, IM.

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  4. My family thinks that what I watch and read play a big par in my psyche, especially my nightmares.

    Flip Wilson, ooooh. Now that’s a real blast from the past.

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    • I guess it’s only natural for family to look to your influences for an explanation of what they perceive as inexplicable behavior. I know I absolutely hated it when my kids started listening to rap music and watching stuff like “Beavis and Butthead” and “South Park.” Of course, I would have loved it if they’d shown something (anything) like a love for reading. I remember getting all excited once when my daughter got me a book that she said she loved – until I discovered it amounted to a treatise on solving my problems with religion. I know she meant well, but I was still stunned that she could know so little about me!

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  5. I’m not particularly worried about unpleasant memories haunting me. I forgot what I was writing about halfway through the previous sentence. I’m not kidding, I really did! I can’t imagine my memory is gonna improve with age.

    Re: Criminal Minds, I’ve tried to get into it and I will watch it if there’s nothing else on, but my tolerance for human depravity has decreased considerably in the last few years. Or maybe I’m just a wuss.

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    • My memory errors usually come from a mistaken belief that I can actually multitask. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, but my version of multitasking is exactly like the time Scooby Doo tried to run away in four directions at the same time – with his knotted-together multi-tail keeping him going anywhere! 😯

      Oh dear. If that “human depravity” thing is a real turn off for you, you might want to skip tomorrow’s post. Today’s positive feedback gave me enough energy to dig up the bookmarks I stored for possible Criminal Minds posts, and I’ve already started one on the most shocking episode of the series so far! 😈

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    • Thanks Frank. I’m not sure what pleases me more: The amazing response to this post, or the fact that so many people share my love for Criminal Minds? And to think I didn’t even add a search tag for it, but you can bet I will now to see what happens! 😀

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