When this is over, we’ll grieve like we did in days past. It will not be virtual grief, it will not be a drive by grief, it won’t be a wham bam thanks for the memories man sort of grief. No…we will be inconsolable. We will wear sackcloth and ashes. We’ll shave our heads. We will grieve for 40 days and 40 nights. We will scream a primal scream…and then we will heal, like we always have…when this is over.
We’ll take in a concert by the Rolling Stones. We will sit close enough to almost touch Mick Jagger. And then we’ll wait for your song. You know the song about not getting what you want, but what you need. And after that, I’ll go to the Chelsea drug store and get your prescriptions filled. And as an added treat, I’ll buy your favorite soda. What was it again? Oh yea. How could I forget…cherry red…when this is over.
We’ll toast the living and we’ll toast those who are gone. You’ll play Tiny Tim’s ukulele and sip cocktails in the blue, red, and grey. I’ll play Joe Cooley’s accordion the way he played for those homesick Irishmen and happy hippies in San Francisco. And when the party’s over, we’ll turn out the lights, and the next day start the same old thing again…when this is over.
We’ll return to our houses of worship, our mosques, our synagogues, our churches, our temples. We’ll read the Koran, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, the New Testament itself and wonder ourselves if we didn’t experience a revelation. We’ll find our place on the Great Mandala. The atheist will return to his atheism and applaud the vast indifference of heaven. We’ve been shown fear in a handful of dust, we’ll find hope in a smile of a child.
We’ll leave our bags in the departure lounge at the Tower of Babel. We’ll jump on our chrome horses and head out west…way out west. We’ll plant our flag and get our kicks on Route 66. And if we listen close, we’ll hear the voice of Edward Abbey crying out in the wilderness, “may your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view”. Once again, we’ll chase that runaway American dream…when this is over.
We’ll see each other as we really are…all the wounds and all the scars. We’ve walked a mile in sorrow. Now let us walk a mile in pleasure. But I will not forget all the things I learned when sorrow walked with me. We’ll see the glass as it always was…half full…when this is over.