Sunday, October 9, 2011

Once Upon A Time... Two For The Road

Woman in the Garden
Claude Monet
1867

Do you ever wish you could wave a magic wand, and go back to a simpler time in your life?  I have been thinking about that lately. I'm not depressed or unhappy, I'm just sort of ... well, I can't describe it. Disappointed, I guess.  I have always been an optimistic, cup half-full type of person. I never look at anything from the negative point of view, but recently I have been surrounded by people who do ~~ co-workers, family ~~ and it's frustrating.   I would like to go back to a time when my life was full of possibilities, not only for me, but for other people too.  I remember that time, and it seems so long ago now.

Yesterday I watched a biography of Audrey Hepburn.  What a lovely, gracious woman she was.  Henry Mancini composed many of the songs for her movies. I once owned an album of Mancini's movie themes, and my favourite was from a movie with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney called "Two for the Road".  I played the song over and over ... and I never tired of hearing it.  When I heard it again yesterday, it took me back to a time when my life was simple and full of hope.  But the lyrics mean even more to me today than they did then.  It's poignant and beautiful, and makes me think that, wherever the road goes, there is still hope and all sorts of wonderful things waiting just around the corner, for everyone.

15 comments:

Judy (kenju) said...

I always liked that song, and Mancini in general.

I am around someone often who is negative nearly all the time (and has very little short-term memory) and it makes for a rough life some days.

JeannetteLS said...

One of my friends recently was trying to be complimentary to me, and was saying after I was saying how much GOOD luck had fallen into my lap when it came to my career, that she didn't see me as lucky at all. Just look at all that "happened to me."

Why is it so many people think that only the BAD stuff happened to them, but the good stuff was strictly what they earned or deserved?

I know that in my blog I'm often writing about difficult, highly personal subjects... well, I am working on memoir, so it kind of goes with the territory. But to me, the only point in writing it would be to show the graces I was given to pull me through.

I am not sure whether it's optimism or gratitude--or maybe ultimately they amount to the same thing. But if just now, after the last couple of years of chaos, I did not feel that good things could just as easily be around the corner as more chaos, I just couldn't go on.

For what it's worth, Jo, I am inspired by you many, many times. What you choose to write, and how you choose to write it. Two for the Road was an interesting film--VERY sixties, but also a kind of honest look at the bumps in that road.

It isn't that I want to go back to a particular time so much as I want to bring that time (those times) to me where I am now, kind of as my fuel and preparation for the good stuff that may be around the bend.

Does all that make even one bit of sense?

Paula said...

Jo, I'm glad you're not letting yourself slide into a funk; life is to short. A lot of people, even those of us who live for fall, get a sort of indescribable wistful feeling in this season.

The Mancini brings back memories. In marching band in high school, we used a lot of his more up tempo jazz that was very popular then. (In one half time show, we had the twirlers coming out of a martini glass we had formed, to the tune of "Days of Wine and Roses", but I digress.) We probably still have the album you mention, on the actual vinyl.

You, Judy, and Jeannette all share my exposure to the negative. My mother is 83, in poor health, and mostly housebound. I feel an obligation to call her several times a week. Unfortunately, these lengthy conversations consist in large part of her reciting over and over all her grievances against her in laws and others, going back as far as fifty years.

JeannetteLS said...

And Jo, may I just mention again that your words helped me during the beginnings of the most chaotic period since my daughter died? YOUR optimism. I don't know. I also think that somewhere between late forties and late fifties, we take a long look at life--where life isn't as we'd hoped and where we want to ramp it up. Amp it up. Maybe, yeah, sometimes, just prop it up enough so we can gather our strength and stand and maybe even fly.

You fly, Jo and you don't even know it! I wish you would change your blurb sometimes, because you are a writer. You simply don't see it. Sometimes, I'm afraid, sliding into a funk for a LITTLE while has done me a world of good because I bored myself silly and went, "Well. That's enough of that. YUCK." But it also helped--because sometimes things ARE hard to face and we can. As long as it is not our default position and as long as there is that voice watching that goes, "Yeah, okay. I'll give ya another five minutes --or whatever--and then we're tryin' something else, there, kid."

I'll shut up now, but I wanted to thank you again for helping me two years ago when so very much of my life fell apart all at once.

Now it's kinda fallen together again and I am prepared for flying. Phoenixes do that. I suspect you are one.

Linda Myers said...

I'm in the place I've worked to be all my life - retired, able to travel and do exactly what I want. And, oddly, it's a bit on the "so what?" side.

Maybe I need a challenge to fill me with hope.

Thanks for your post.

Leslie: said...

Oh Josie, this almost made me cry. My late husband and I had so many dreams of "traveling two for the road" in a huge Winebego dragging ourselves up the Coquihalla and across the country. The song brought it all back. But...life does go on and I must now plan my adventures with others. It's just a bit sad and -oh, what's the word? disappointing? that it all didn't work out the way it was "supposed" to. But then, does anything? We must do dinner again soon and get out of our fall funks!

Raymond said...

Wow. What a song. But i believe the concept of love have change so much with my generation. But it would be nice if love can be just as simple as the song.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I would like to think so. I'd like that very much. And I do believe there are wonderful possibilities for all who seek them, but with maturity (or what passes for it,) you realize that you have to work for those happy endings.

Sextant said...

Five years ago or so three young women whipped my behind in a walking race that they didn't even know that they were participating in. They had performed a little ritual of bravado that I found irritating, and I thought to my self--the old man is going to pass these arrogant young women. My goal was just to pass them, not say anything or cause any trouble. I couldn't catch up to them. They had a 50 yard lead on me. They had no idea I was in a silly old man race with them, they were just walking for some exercise and enjoying each other's company. I tried to walk as fast as my old man back and knees would let me, and I could not catch-up...within 10 minutes they had disappeared around a bend in the trail and I never did see them again. It was then that it occurred to me. You are in a new age, one of declining abilities and possibilities. Trying not to succumb to the pessimism of the twilight years will be something of a challenge for me. After watching my mother go through the decline and then dementia of Alzheimer's I have come to look at the golden years as the final chapter of a story guaranteed not to end well. That said, I haven't quite given up yet. I intend to live to 99 and leave nothing for my heirs.

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PhilipH said...

Very good melody Jo. Thanks for introducing it as I cannot recall having heard it before.

Life is a road of many twists and turns. We have to keep walking, sometimes hiding,oft times running, but always hoping that the going gets better. We never know what is just around the next bend: that's life.
Phil

KrippledWarrior said...

ah yes. Music therapy. I am not old enough to know any of those names you dropped. But I'm sure they were nice people, based on who I perceive you to be.

Jo said...

Judy, I loved Henry Mancini. And yes, it is difficult to be around negative people.

Jeanette, you have a positive attitude, and after all you have been through, I know there are good things around the corner for you. You are moving towards them, definitely. And thank you for the lovely compliment. I cherish it, especially coming from you. :-)

Paula, oh, gosh I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. That must be heartbreaking for you too. You know, I cannot tolerate negativity. I think that is why I could no longer read the bullsh*t on the blogs that we are both familiar with (that shall remain nameless *heh*). They are like black holes of negativity and dislike. Those are such depressing emotions. I prefer positivity.

Linda, I have heard so many people in your situation express those same feelings. And yes, we never feel more alive than when we are in challenging situations. I like challenges.

Leslie, dinner ... yes! Unfortunately Presto Cucino has closed, but I have purchased an Entertainment Book from Phinnaeus. We'll find somewhere great!

Raymond, isn't it a lovely song? It's like poetry. Well, it is poetry. :-)

Susan, yes, and sometimes there are huge bumps in the road, but we somehow manage to get over them, and there are wonderful things on the other side of the bump!

Sextant, I guess each age has its own advantages and limitations. I would not go back to being 25 again. Not at all. I rather like where I am now, except I would like to lose an inch or two on the hips that I seem to have picked up over the years. *sigh*

Philip, truth is stranger than fiction. Sometimes the things we find around the bend are nothing like we would have ever imagined. I don't know how often I say to myself, ""Who'da think it???" *heh*

Kurt, you don't know Audrey Hepburn? Gosh! And this song is from a Henry Mancini album I owned in 1978. Is that really that long ago? Golly, I guess it is. :-) But it is a pretty song, isn't it?

Whitney Lee said...

I have every biography I could find on Audrey Hepburn. I have found her fascinating since I was in my early teens. She was classy and understated and had such a love of life, such a grace about her. She was everything lovely and I adore her movies.

I have done some trimming in the last months, trying to cut out negativity wherever possible. I am like a sponge and soak up other's energy. I'm striving to be less like that but in the meantime figured it wouldn't hurt to distance myself from some of the Debbie Downers. I was starting to annoy myself!

Paula Slade said...

Audrey Hepburn was a charming actress and a beautiful human being.

"Two for the Road" brings back memories for me too. Thank goodness for the gift of memory, it does a fine job of helping escape to simpler time.

Jo said...

Whitney, when I ws younger, I wanted to look like Audrey Hepburn. Fat chance...! *heh*

Paula, isn't it a wonderful song? Henry Mancini and Audrey Hepburn ~~ movie magic...!