Wednesday, July 27, 2016

An affair to forget

"Time was I'd be as good as gone
But last night I didn't want to run."

I was tickled to be offered a free advance reading copy of Glennon Doyle Melton's memoir Love Warrior, due for release on Sept. 6. Melton writes the popular blog, Momastery.

The book arrived with a request that I post an early review on Goodreads and share my thoughts about the book on social media, with the #LoveWarrior hashtag. An Amazon review on the publication date was also suggested.

I'm sure this was completely coincidental and unrelated to the fact that I'd pre-ordered an autographed, premium, limited-edition copy of the book, along with 35,000 other members of Melton's fan base.

Then again, for no good reason that I know of, some time ago Melton sent me a complementary copy of her previous book, New Yotk Times bestseller Carry On, Warrior. I have to admit, I had not yet read it.

I'm a very casual fan of Melton, or "G" as she often calls herself. In this post I will call her Glennon, because I will also talk about her husband Craig, and obviously I can't call them both Melton.

I basically like Glennon's message about being authentic and telling the truth. I respect her crusade, as a recovering bulimic, alcoholic and drug abuser, to promote what she calls "the power of embracing our messy, beautiful lives". I admire the good work she does, with her love flash mobs, philanthropic causes and social conscience. I have a little trouble with the theological and faith-based aspects of her approach, but she's interesting, and the good she does makes her evangelism worth overlooking.

However, I have never commented on any of Glennon's blog posts or shared any of her Facebook messages. I have only read her blog sporadically. I've never been moved to make any effort to hear her speak. I don't consider myself a "Monkey" which is Glennon's name for her community of women, the "monks" of her Momastery, if you will. Not that I have a problem with the concept. It's hard to argue with any of it, although it is a bit cyber-touchy-feely.
The first rule of Monkeedom is that everyone is invited. If you want to be a Monkee, you are a Monkee. Everybody’s in, baby.

The second rule of Monkeedom is that you never have to agree with me. Or anyone else here. You do have to practice disagreeing with respect and love.

Monkees have no common beliefs except for these:

Here, we treat others how we want to be treated .. we believe that love and restraint can overcome differences, fear, mistrust and competition. Here, politics and business die. Feel free to revive them as soon as you leave this place. Here, we agree with Mother Teresa, that "when we judge people, we have no time to love them."

The third rule of Momastery is that we are not just mothers, we are Mothers, with a capital M. ... Here we remind each other that we are ALL family.
Love Warrior is the story of Glennon's marriage, of the underlying issues that had been painted with a broad brush on her blog, of the confession by her husband that he'd been unfaithful from the outset. It's the story of how Glennon was ultimately led to work with her husband to heal the breach and reach a place of love that was, possibly for the first time, honest and genuine.

The story is well told. I read it over the course of two days. I cried. I like books and movies that make me cry.

As Glennon backtracked and told her story from the beginning, I was curious about her first book, which I assumed would have covered some of the same ground. Turns out it's a collection of essays, including her blog posts. There's even an abbreviated version on the Love Warrior tale.

Glennon starts Love Warrior with her 10-year-old self, the chubby child who hated feeling different, and learned to binge and purge from a television movie. Desperate for love and acceptance, she gave a years-long academy-award-quality performance of being someone else, someone thin and confident and popluar. Part of the price of popularity included impersonal sex with the right boys. Part of the price of impersonal sex was shutting down her own sexuality.

Anesthetizing her fears with food and later, sex, alcohol and drugs, she stayed numb for more than 15 years. Life was a daily cycle of getting wasted, staying wasted and recovering from being wasted, then doing it all over again. Until a day when she found herself on the bathroom floor, sick, scared and holding a positive pregnancy test.

Glennon had an epiphany, right there on that bathroom floor, and made a decision. She interpreted the pregancy as an invitation to motherhood, an invitation that entailed finding sobriety and vanquishing bulimia to nourish her body and her baby. She decided to accept the invitation and, one day at a time, she learned how to live without her opiates. She married Craig, stayed sober and had a son and two daughters with him.

The one thing that Glennon wasn't able to overcome was the learned suppression of her sexuality. Sex was a duty. Her honesty about this struck me as rare and brave. I suspect many women, for various reasons, do not experience the Hollywood version of lovemaking, all desire and ecstacy, never messy, painful or frustrating. No one talks about it though.

Early in the marriage, Craig tried introducing pornography into their sex life, but Glennon felt horrified and ashamed, and exacted a promise that Craig remove it from the home permanently. But she could do nothing about the detachment between them, her resentment of his need for sex to express and receive love and his inability to meet her need for an intellectual and emotional conncection to express and receive love.

It was during this time that Glennon started her blog, began telling the truth about her addiction and recovery. Her truth-telling went viral, her Monkey ministry was born, a book contract followed. She bared the dirty little secrets of her soul and was met with an outpouring of love and validation.

And then one day she found porn on the family computer. She confronted Craig, who admitted he had a problem and committed to seek help. In therapy he began to wonder if he could be as honest as Glennon, disclose his philandering, let her see him for who he really was, and still be loved. Eventually this prompted him to tell her about his infidelity.

The revelation of the betrayal was unbearable to Glennon, although of course at times we all are called to bear that which is unbearable. Glennon and Craig separated while she tried to keep breathing and evaluate options for her future.

And this is where the story became ineffably beautiful and poignant for me. Craig stood his ground. He committed to stay, to learn, to grow, to repair whatever he could repair. He essentially drew his line in the sand, and his line was that, whether or not Glennon would ever forgive him, he was never going to stop showing up, trying to make amends and working to win her back.

It took time, and as Glennon likes to say, time takes time. In the end she decided, rather than to throw away everything, the man and the family they'd built together, instead to peel back all the layers, to take the foundation of the marriage back to the studs, to "unbecome" until she could start to become again, from the beginning, from scratch.

Glennon and Craig both learned how to communicate with each other in a common language. Craig moved back into the house after a few weeks but it was many more months before the marriage was reconsummated, or perhaps consummated properly for the first time. You will have to read the book if you want to understand the process. I'd have to rewrite it here in its entirety to do it justice.

Fairy tale endings are wonderful, but there is only one real ending in life and many more pages to fill and potential books to write before the final curtain falls. All we can do is hope that, for Glennon and Craig, the happily will be ever after.

One of the things that struck me most strongly though is how lucky Glennon was to have choices. I know the choices felt like a rock and a hard place to her. Divorce, hurt your children, share your children, go forward as a single parent with all the burden that that entails, while wondering how you will ever trust a man again. Or reconcile with someone who was unfaithful to you, who broke his vows and promises to you, who serially used other women's bodies while living with you and sleeping with you, who lied to you by omission.

I compare her story with another blogger I sporadically follow, Jennifer Ball, the Happy Hausfrau. Jennifer was a stay-at-home mother of four whose husband had an affair and then vascilated for a year about leaving or staying before he left. Adding insult to injury, he told Jennifer he would reconcile with her if she'd have her tubes tied. She did, and while she was recovering from the procedure, he told her he wasn't coming back. He want on to marry and have two more kids with the other woman. Jennifer did not get to make a choice.

I've never been in this precise situation myself, but I know there are many women, mothers often of young children, who are deeply hurt by a husbands transgressions, but who are not only willing to forgive but desperate to win the tosser back. Whether they truly love him or are afraid of change, afraid to be alone, they are ready to bury the hatchets, knives, cleavers and other figurative sharp implements and put the pieces of Humpty Dumpty back together. Yet for the men, that train has left the station. They are out, baby.

My daughter's husband was unfaithful while she was pregnant with their son. She found out, forgave him, and told no one, because she didn't want anyone judging her for staying with him, or judging him, as long as he was going to stay and be recommitted to their marriage. It lasted until their baby was 5 months old, when she found inappropriate text messages on his phone. She confronted him, asked him if he was in or out, and he packed his bags.

I'm sure even then he could have come back. If he had shown remorse and made promises, she would have invited him to come home. She may have done that anyway, may have bargained and negotiated and rationalized. No one wants to throw in the towel when there's an infant to care for. I can't imagine the hurt, I can only lionize the strength she demonstrated as she picked up the shards of her broken dreams and kept right on living.

I'm glad my daughter didn't have a choice. I would have been sorry to see her reconcile with him. Maybe if he had been someone who accepted accountability, someone who honestly admitted and repented his mistakes, someone fully committed to doing whatever it took to repair the relationship, I would have felt different. But he wasn't that person. If he had come back, I believe he would not have stayed.

I'm glad that Glennon had a choice. And I'm sincerely glad that Glennon's husband kept showing up, kept doing the work, kept fighting for their marriage.

In my book, he is the epitome of a Love Warrior.

Who knows where faith comes from
But last night I put my ring back on
'Cause here with you is where I belong
Last night I put my ring back on

No life's without uncertainty
We both know how hard this love can be
It's just this hurting inside of me
That threw it down, down down down

We can't speak like lovers we used to be
We can't change ancient history
And love wounds with such simplicity
And I threw it down, down down down, down

Your heart is all I want to see
Your hand reaching out to me
And your kiss remembers the mystery

Time was I'd be as good as gone
But last night I didn't want to run
'Cause here with you is where I belong
Last night I put my ring back on

Last night I put my ring back on.

(Mary Chapin Carpenter. Yes, again.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Defying prevailing evil

"In this world you've a soul for a compass
And a heart for a pair of wings."

I'm hot.

Let me try that again.

It's hot. It's hot outside. Hot to the tune of a power bill that tipped $500, and I wouldn't even say we keep the house very cool.

Not having any shade trees and being on a corner lot with a northwest exposure hurts us.

I love our house, I really do. I love the view of the park from our breakfast area. I love the openess, the two-story entry and living room. But it's not energy efficient.

We've had the AC repairman out twice already this year. Our outside units are working overtime. He dissed the brand and the model that the homebuilder installed, but he fixed them.

I don't mind it being a little warm in the house. Ceiling fans help. Keeping the blinds closed helps. Shorts and tank tops help, and I love living in them.

In the morning I suffer for my art, working without air conditioning in my garage studio. In the afternoon, I speed walk three miles or so on the treadmill. I broke the computer on the treadmill so I am estimating, based on speed and time.

Funnily enough, I broke the computer because the fan on the treadmill kept cutting out. I'd pound the fan grate with my fist and it would start again. That hurt my hand which, as you know if you read me, hurts plenty already. So I got a rubber mallet out of the toolbox to do my pounding.

Eventually the computer fritzed out and the fan wouldn't work at all. Neil took the back of the dashboard off and plugged in the fan connection that had come loose. So now the fan works like a dream but the computer is hosed up. I can adjust the speed but the digital readout is fried. Some of the buttons work, some don't.

I still get a good workout, at least I work up a good sweat. After I cool off, I take a bath and that also helps me feel cooler. By then we're on the cool-down side of the sun cycle too, the light is less harsh and relentless. Days already are getting shorter.

But when the sun is glaring in the middle of the day, all I want to do is hide at home.

The world outside isn't just hot, it's scary and distressing. Law enforcement officers being shot hither and yon, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Kansas City. People being shot ad hoc by officers for acting strangely. A truck mowing down 84 people who were celebrating Bastille Day in Nice. I was in Nice for Bastille Day in 2009, with my French cousins (who providentially are safe but naturally quite shaken by the events). More than 200 people dead in a failed military coup in Turkey.

What's almost more shocking than the mayhem is how quickly it falls off the journalism radar, surpassed by the great American presidential election comedy, the sweltering heat dome threatening the USA and making corn sweat (hello Summer), and infants being left in hot cars because apparently there are still people who remain oblivious to the fact that this will kill them.

Even as the Nice masacre was unfolding in real time, people were engaging with Angelina and Brad, celebrating their twins' birthday.

I sound dispirited. I'm not. But I should be. I feel so inured from all of it. There is nothing I can do about it. At least, I don't know what I can do about it.

All it takes for evil to prevail in this world is for enough good men to do nothing, supposedly said Edmund Burke. What he actually said was this. "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

So it seems clear that it takes enough good men (and women presumably) working together to fight the bad guys. One woman fighting evil alone, she's toast.

But here's what I will do about it anyway. I will protest it. I will write about it. I will denounce evil (and guns and terrorism and ignorance and Donald Trump) regardless of whether or not it's pitiable and futile.

Evil must not win. And we can't counteract evil with more evil. We must live by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
I will stand for Nice, I will stand for Dallas and Baton Rouge and Kansas City. I will stand for Turkey. I will stand whenever there is violent injustice, whenever evil raises it's reprehensible head, and I will rebuke it.

I will sing it loud and proud. It may not be much, but it's more than nothing.

Just call me Gabriel.

In this world there's a whole lot of trouble, baby
In this world there's a whole lot of pain
In this world there's a whole lot of trouble
But a whole lot of ground to gain
Why take when you could be giving, why watch as the world goes by
It's a hard enough life to be living, why walk when you can fly?

In this world there's a whole lot of sorrow
In this world there's a whole lot of shame
In this world there's a whole lot of sorrow
And a whole lotta ground to gain
When you spend your whole life wishing, wanting and wondering why
It's a long enough life to be living, why walk when you can fly?

In this world there's a whole lot of cold
In this world there's a whole lot of blame
In this world you've a soul for a compass
And a heart for a pair of wings
There's a star on the far horizon, rising bright in an azure sky
For the rest of the time that you're given, why walk when you can fly?

(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Retired but not really

"I stand on the rooftops, I look down on my story, and it swallows me."

At the end of this month I will celebrate 5 years of retirement.

Technically I could say that I'm not really retired. I run my own little bead business, which from time to time demands 40 hours or so of work on my part.

But that's a choice I make. The income is nice to have but I pour a lot of it right back into the business. Of what doesn't go back in, the government gets almost half, thanks to the married-filing-jointly bottom line.

Whatever's left goes toward my share of the household expenses plus my own care and feeding. The shoes, the clothes, the accessories, the hair, the nails, the monthly massage that keeps the pain in my hard-working hands, arms and neck more manageable.

Since sales have been slow (again) I'm not really making ends meet. I continue to draw down the lump of cash I got when I departed the corporate world.

Because my life is charmed, I left my salaried job at the perfect time. My severance was paid out in a lump sum and I was able to immediately collect unemployment benefits, which temporarily had been extended to 18 months rather than the standard 6 months. That shored up my little nest egg.

It's dwindling now. After Neil retires, sometime this year, I'll be able to think about starting my social security benefits, next year or the year after, depending on which tax year his payout falls into. I'm hoping to generate enough bead income to avoid dipping into my savings. And I'm determined to wait to take any distributions from my 401K plans until they become required.

Now all I have to do is wave a magic wand and a dedicated market of eager bead buyers will materialize.

Where's that life charm I've come to depend on?

I just had a new thought about why I'm frustrated with the lack of sales. You know, on top of the money thing, and the validation thing, and the bemusement thing, because I really do think my beads are pretty, well-priced and just as nice as many I see that do sell.

I'm awash in beads. I have trays full of beads. I have plenty of inventory, enough for months at the rate I'm selling of late, one or two sets a day.

And I still want to make beads. I still want to dip mandrels and go out in the hot garage and poke through my shelves full of bins full of glass colors in an infinite rainbow of hues, shades and tones. I still want to ramp up the kiln, crank up the oxygen concentrator, turn on the propane tank, light the torch and melt glass.

Because the nerve pain in my hands and especially my right arm nags me chronically, I've been mostly making small beads, gravity shaped round beads, mostly with dot designs, because dots are my thing. Winding on larger amounts of glass for focals, spinning more glass on the mandrel, decorating the bead for more sustained amounts of time without a respite hurts my appendages more. Plus focals don't sell as well as sets for me.

Soon I'll have tubs full of round beads with lots of dots, in pairs because customers like pairs for earrings. Eventually I may have crates full, a bathtub full even.

And I can't help thinking it's wasteful, taking all that beautiful raw material, powering all that equipment, to make more beads that just are going to accumulate and add to the burden I already bear of having too freaking much stuff.

Can I change my attitude? Can I think of making beads just as having fun, doing what I love? Does everything have to have some more measurable sort of return?

Where would we be if Vincent Van Gogh stopped painting simply because his work wasn't selling? The world would certainly have less beauty. We need all the beauty we can get, especially in these days of snipings and massacres and trigger-happy loose canons running amok with guns.

And wouldn't it be wonderful if someday my beads were worth, well, whatever they are worth, something, more than nothing?

If I stop making them, we'll never know, will we?

Some of my crazy cache of dot bead pairs. Full disclosure, about half are sold.

You turn a blue eye to me and you look right through me
You said define what you think freedom means... if you want freedom
We can wake up this lullaby town
Burn through every red light I found
Lift a dust cloud
Break the speed of sound
You could break free

I stand on the rooftops, I look down on my story
And it swallows me
Beyond the horizon, the taillights, the glories,
Will you follow me?
(Freedom) I need to know who I am
(Freedom) I'm like a moth in your hand
(Sweet freedom) Do I fly or stand?
Or fall on my knees?

If you want to run I'll pack my suitcase
If you want to stay I'll make a front door key
And if you need space... to fly... free
Take all the sky you need.

(Ellis Paul)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Working with animals and children

"And you of tender years can't know the fears that your elders grew by
And so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die."

It started with the dog. Not the black dog this time, although he might have been black if his hair had grown back in.

No, this was a dog taken in by the rescue group that we got Biscotti from, Long Way Home Adoptables in College Station.

As far as I know, it's mostly an online operation, where animals are fostered in private homes until they are adopted. It is affiliated with a sanctuary for those animals deemed unadoptable for medical or behavioral reasons. But there is no shelter that you can visit. We found Biscotti on Petfinder, filled out a lengthy application, paid a hefty fee, went to check him out and brought him home.

He's a piece of work but that's another post.

I follow LWHA on Facebook and from time to time April, the director and driving force behind the rescue, posts pictures and stories about animals they have taken in. Some are healthy and just need forever homes. Some have special needs requiring medical attention before the animal will be ready for adoption.

King was an extreme case of the latter. He was a severe neglect medical case, thought to be a 5-year-old German Shepard, but it was hard to tell because of the state he was in. He was emaciated, had demodex mange and sarcoptic mange, open skin lesions, severe ear and eye infections, hookworms, roundworms, heartworms and various wounds and other signs of abuse. He did not want to lie down because of the pressure on his unpadded bones. When you looked at the pictures, you had to wonder, how is this dog alive.

In spite of all that, he was gentle and affectionate. My heart went out to him, along with tens of thousands of other hearts. For a day and a half, under the treatment of a vet, King seemed to make some progress. He was put on pain meds, his ailments began to be addressed, he was given IV fluids and was able to keep down some food and there was much reason for hope.

Donations poured in. I sent a case of premium high nutrient canned puppy food from the LWHA Amazon wish list. A few others did the same.

Medical fosters stepped up and I looked forward to seeing King get well and become a healthy, happy and beloved dog. But on July 1, King started having seisures. Tests disclosed a mass in his pancreas or liver and the decision was made to do the humane thing. Here's what April said.
I'm honored he gave us the gift of two happy days, so I will return that gift in the best way I can. We will allow him to be relieved of this sadness and pain. To ask him to keep fighting would be cruel. Thank you, King, for allowing us to be in your life.
It got to me. I know there are cruelty cases like this all the time, but for some reason every now and then one comes along that touches me more deeply. Neil couldn't understand why I felt so sad. I tried to explain that I'd gotten invested in this dog, and I don't mean the case of food I sent. I know some other dog will appreciate that.

Neil told me I shouldn't let this dog's death upset me. It's always so helpful when someone tells you your feelings are invalid. Not. Still, I understood what he meant. There are dogs abused every day and you can read stories about them on social media all the livelong day and if you are going to let each one distress you, then you are going to spend your life in distress, which won't do a damn thing to help those dogs.

I've never been much good at not feeling my feelings, so I've learned to sit with them, allow myself to feel them, and in time they fade and become background noise. Neil, being of the male species, doesn't understand that. He thinks everything has to be fixed, so he can't just listen and support, he has to tell me what to do. Sometimes that just makes it worse, sometimes he displaces the object of my disaffection.

So the dog set the tone for the weekend. Neil worked all day Friday and part of Saturday, Sunday, and even Monday, a national holiday. I'd have been more upset if I didn't know that this is temporary now. In a matter of months he will be retired and the working weekends issue will be dead in the water.

I stayed busy. I made beads, I sold beads, I finished two necklaces and made three tree bells - strands of odds-and-ends beads with bells on the ends to hang in our tress. We cooked at home for a change, chicken and tacos and steaks for just the two of us. Chris has moved to Lake Charles where he'll be starting a masters program and living with Laurie and Luke. My kids were doing their things in Keller and Austin, or so I thought.

On Monday afternoon I had some Instagram notifications on my phone. One was from Chelsea, a photo taken at the park in Jersey Village, "posted 2 days ago." The caption was this. "Visited the park near the house where I grew up!"

Saturday. She was in town on Saturday.

Don't ask me to explain why but I felt very upset. I posted a comment, "you were in town?" Then I deleted it. I told Neil about it. He said he'd be cheesed if one of his kids was in town and didn't mention it. Not cheesed if they told him that they were in town and had plans and wouldn't have time to see him. Just cheesed if they didn't tell him at all and he found out.

I wasn't cheesed. I was just sad.

I called Chelsea and left a short voice mail, saying nothing about it, because I don't think she listens to her voice mail. Then I sent her a text, asking about her being in town. She texted back after a few minutes, saying that she and her boyfriend had come in to see her dad "just for one day" and gone right back to Austin because she had a rehearsal. She said they were at a barbecue and asked if she could call me later. I said, "sure."

That was about 4 pm. I wondered if maybe her dad wasn't well. He's had a quadruple bypass and gone several rounds with bladder cancer in the past. Somehow that didn't quite jive with the smiling photo that she'd posted.

I slid silently down the rabbit hole. Tears welled and spilled and kept coming. I've been missing my children so much. Nothing requires them to miss me. What can I say, I felt hurt. Right or wrong, my feelings are what they are. I stopped crying long enough to make dinner and eat dinner and watch some tube with Neil. At 9 pm when she hadn't called, I called her cell phone. The one I pay for. I didn't have to leave a message. I knew she'd see that she had a missed call.

She did call back shortly thereafter. They were still at the barbeque, it had just gotten dark enough for the fireworks to start, they couldn't really see them, so she'd stepped outside to call me. I tried to have a normal conversation. I knew that laying on a guilt trip would not be a good strategy. I knew it would be unfair to lay my hurt and loneliness at her doorstep. I'm responsible for my own life and happiness, right?

So we had a strained conversation. Chelsea's story was that she and Rob had offered to help replace flooring when her dad's house flooded back in March. They never did and then she felt guilty when Jon sent them pictures of the new floors. Also, her 10-year high school reunion is coming up, she'd decided to go, then realized she had a conflict and couldn't. So she thought it would be nice to get together with some of her high school friends. Which they did.

She said it was a quick trip, I asked if they just came in for the day. She said they got in late Friday and left early Sunday, so it was just one full day. Twisting the knife. Two nights. I said, aiming for brightly, you know I'm always happy to drive up and go out for lunch with you. She said something like, oh, that's nice. We chatted a little more. If she detected that I sounded flat or dull or like I'd been crying, she didn't mention it.

I cried some more after we hung up. I thought about the price you pay for being divorced, how you have to share time with your children with your ex. I thought about my relationship with my own mom, and how I'd never really forgiven her for the ways she'd failed me when I was growing up. I thought about the ways that Chelsea feels like I failed her when she was growing up, at least I think she does.

I was a divorced single mom from the time she was 9 years old. I suffered a loss and battled clinical depression for about a year when she was 13 years old. I juggled working and parenting and dating. I know she felt like I left her alone too much, especially after her sister left for college. Did I do my best? Does anyone, ever? I could have done better. I could have done worse.

It's water under the bridge now.

I'm putting it back into perspective. I'm keeping busy, distracting myself, not dwelling on it. We have plans to see Chelsea in Austin later this month.

Although there is a part of me that is thinking about how vigorously I guard my little nest egg so I will have a legacy to leave my kids. I wouldn't say I'm deprived, but I could be a lot more self-indulgent if I thought more about myself and less about my offspring.

But it has to be a two-way street. And right now the traffic seems to be stalled on one of those streets.

So maybe I'll finally get that new iPad I've been wanting but resisting, because my old one still works.

Hell, maybe I'll even get those outrageously expensive Fluevogs I've been drooling over.

Even if I never wear them.

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye

Teach your children well
Their father's hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by

Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you

And you (Can you hear?) of tender years (And do you care?)
Can't know the fears (And can you see?) that your elders grew by (We must be free)
And so, please help (To teach your children) them with your youth (What you believe in)
They seek the truth (Make a world) before they can die (That we can live in)

Teach your parents well
Their children's hell will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by

Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you

(Graham Nash)