Knock on wood...

There is something that comes with getting a song stuck in your head, which is to say that it mostly stays there until it's good and ready to move on — you find yourself humming and whistling to yourself (and others), listening to it and watching it endlessly on YouTube, and you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to understand the meaning and philosophies behind the lyrics.


Have you ever been close to tragedy
Or been close to folks who have?
Have you ever felt a pain so powerful
So heavy you collapse? No?
Well I've never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could
It makes me wonder if
I've never had to knock on wood
And I'm glad I haven't yet
Because I'm sure it isn't good
That's the impression that I get

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

I have no intention to deconstruct the lyrics of the song "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones but do suggest you listen to it for no other reason than it is really, really catchy. If you are willing though, the song does allude to looking in the mirror and asking yourself how you will deal with some of the tougher aspects of life when they come your way (and they will) — as Jim Morrison said, "No one here gets out alive". I saw my uncle recently who is struggling with stage four lung cancer so maybe there is a little transference going on here, but it doesn't make the question any less valid as to how we face what will be surely difficult.

Sure you can prepare yourself or believe that you are prepared, but you will never really know until you are in the shit — as Mark Twain said, "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way". Sure you can work really hard not to pick up that cat but once in a while someone just hands it to you; there is nothing else to be done but deal with it (scratches and all). You have no choice but to move into the breech.

In the end you learn about resilience, character, under appreciated abilities, the concepts of wisdom and understanding, and if you are lucky, you realize the best outcome possible. And then you move on, forever changed.

Knock on wood.


PS — It seems the song has moved on.