Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's with Harold and Maude


A sad-eyed boy drives
A juiced-up hearse
Over a california cliff.
And the death-mobile lies,
Crumpled like a used-up soda-can,
On a beach below.  Like an ending.
Or a beginning.
He's lost everything, it seems,
Everything he never had.

The first time I saw the movie, I held my breath.
Is that how it goes for a sad-eyed boy,
Getting a taste of love, of grace, of pleasure:
Then over a california cliff, losing everything?
Are we all used-up soda-cans,
Bought cheap, sold out?

But Maude taught Harold to savor days,
To weep into weeping,
To love into loving,
To play and play and play into playing,
To sing into songs that bring tears of
Holy fire and irrational gratitude.

And so the credits roll, the car in a heap down below,
And there's Harold again, on the california hillside,
A hop in his step, a banjo in hand,
And he's singing with Cat Stevens.
And Cat sings, some kind of soundtrack
For my own awakening:
"If you want to sing out, sing out.
If you want to be free, be free.
Cause there's a million things to be.
You know that there are.  You know that there are."

Turns out Harold has had enough of cars, and knives,
And one-act suicides.
Turns out Harold knows a little about playing and loving.
He's found something like Maude's fire in his heart,
And the irrational gratitude of lovers
Given to loving even and especially on cliffs.

DGJ 12/31/12