Learning the World - Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Grief lies quietly on the passenger side,
Unwanted company on a long, long drive.
It turns down the quiet songs and turns up the
It goes where you go, it’s been where you’ve been.
Pushing your empty car mile after mile,
Leaves you weeping in the wilderness of the supermarket aisle.
And in the late night kitchen light it sits in a chair
Watching you pretend that it’s not really there, but it is.
So it is and you ask
“Are you predator or friend? The future or the past?”
It hands you your overcoat and opens the door.
You are learning the world again just as before,
But the first time was childhood and now you are grown,
Broken wide open, cut to the bone.
And all that you used to know is of no use at all,
The same eyes you’ve always had have you walking in the walls
And the same heart can’t understand why it’s so hard to feel,
What used to be true, it’s now so unreal, but it is.
So it is and you say
“I wish I were the wind, so that I could blow away”
Grief sits silently on the edge of your bed,
It’s closing your eyes, it’s stroking your head.
The dear old companion it’s taking aback
Watching you pretend it’s not really there.
This is the lyric from a song on a newish recording Ashes & Roses by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I do not know much about she or her music. But she is singing and chatting with David Dye on 'The World Cafe' this afternoon. And this song made me stop and listen. It seems that she wrote it in the wake of her father's death. As regular readers will know, I think it is pretty difficult to find much useful in what gets written about grief and loss. But this song captures a good slice of the experience.