Days like this

Mar 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Personal Columns

A day with American friends: lunch; watching rugby and enjoying the hospitality of the churchwarden; traditional music in the kitchen; gathering on a hilltop as the sun set; lighting a fire to welcome Saint Patrick’s Day; the sound of fiddle and tin whistle in the night air. There is a feeling of being ‘beat’.  It’s a good word, it brings thoughts of a favourite book.

One definition of the 1950s term ‘beat’ was that of ‘exhausted exaltation.’  Reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road conveys a sense of exhausting, frenetic activity, but at the end there is a sense of encompassing contentment;

“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”

Perhaps it’s more than a Kerouac moment.  Perhaps it’s one of those days where everything goes so well you have to pinch yourself.  Perhaps it is captured more in the words of Van Morrison:

When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this
When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this
When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this
When you don’t get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there’ll be days like this
When you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
When you don’t meet a chancer there’ll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there’ll be days like this
When everyone is up front and they’re not playing tricks
When you don’t have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When it’s nobody’s business the way that you wanna live
I just have to remember there’ll be days like this
When no one steps on my dreams there’ll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there’ll be days like this
When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this.

Days like this, indeed.

Sunset

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