a life story

“Symphony in White No. 3″ by James McNeill Whistler

Gather up your telegrams
Your faded pictures, best laid plans
Books and postcards, 45′s
Every sunset in the sky

Carry with you maps and string, flashlights
Friends who make you sing
And stars to help you find your place
Music, hope and amazing grace

Maybe what we leave
Is nothing but a tangled little mystery
Maybe what we take
Is nothing that has ever had a name

~ Mary Chapin Carpenter
♫ (Your Life Story) ♫

14 thoughts on “a life story”

  1. Maybe what we leave
    Is nothing but a tangled little mystery
    Maybe what we take
    Is nothing that has ever had a name

    Music as poetry or poetry as music! Either or both beautiful non the less. I know of Mary Chapin Carpenter but I really don’t know her music that well.
    Thank you for sharing this my friend!

    1. You’re welcome, Jeff! I hope you will become more acquainted with Mary Chapin – she’s fantastic!

      You agree with this wise soul, then:
      “There’s no difference between lyrics and poetry. Words are words. The only difference is the people who are in academic positions and call themselves poets and have an academic stance. They’ve got something to lose if they say it’s all poetry; if there’s not music to it, and you have to wear a certain kind of checkered shirt or something like that. It’s all the same. Lyrics are lyrics, poetry is poetry, lyrics are poetry, and poetry is lyrics. They are interchangeable to me.”
      ~ Van Morrison

      (I’ll have to find a picture for this one some day!)

  2. Truthful lines… everything really comes and goes… sometimes easily, sometimes meaningfully and hopefully, it’s our choice to look and pick the substantial. The last stanza says it all: that isn’t the most important what we carry or leave, but how we looked at the world… our approach. Thanks for this, Barbara, such beautiful realization, accompanied by lightheartedness… which is a good way of moving ahead…

    1. I like your observation: “it’s our choice to look and pick the substantial.” So many life stories, so many mysteries! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment – our approach does make all the difference…

  3. Hi Barbara,
    Beautiful words indeed, M.C. Carpenter is one of the greats, she has so far won 5 Grammy Awards, and she certainly has some great songs.
    A beautiful picture you picked to go with the song.

    1. Thanks, magsx2! I’ve followed her every step of the way, and have been delighted how her lyrics have evolved in the same direction my own spiritual journey has taken…

  4. What a lovely, touching poem. Everything about it relates to you and me, the friends and family we carry with us along the way, bringing us joy , giving us enough inspiration to make us sing and celebrate life everyday. The mention of telegram and faded pictures made me remember part of my childhood , made miss my parents and siblings. Thank you for sharing the ” the Library” play story. That was a wonderful childhood experience.

    1. Memories can be bittersweet, as we go through life we’re always losing some things but gaining other things… We need to savor every moment, every joy and every sorrow, too. You must miss your parents very much, living so far away from them. My grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine, so when my father and his siblings were growing up here they never knew their grandparents and never got to visit them and their grandparents never got to come here. Nowadays with the internet it’s so much easier to stay close in spirit…

Your thoughts are much appreciated...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.