Not too many years ago, country music star Garth Brooks scored a hit with the emotional song “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers.” I’ve thought a lot about that one in recent months for many reasons. His premise is this: a man is out with his wife and accidentally runs into a previous love of his life, the one he fell hard for, the one he once thought hung the moon, the one who broke his heart. As they exchange pleasantries and part ways, he looks at her, then sees his wife and children – grateful for all he has been given …. and grateful his previous prayers were not answered in the way he so fervently sought once upon a time.
None of us knows the future, but many find solace in who holds the future. Stressed over a very important missed appointment many years ago, a wise friend once reassured me that things usually turn out the way they’re supposed to. I’ve come to realize he was absolutely right and I’ve always kept that in mind. That thought alone has kept me sane and laid back in challenging times.
We see the back of the mat, uneven strings and unimaginable snarls and ragged edges and giant knots that seemingly can never be untangled. It may be colorful but it’s also jumbled and messy. It’s the present mixed with the past. Turn it over and a beautiful wondrous tapestry for the future makes perfect sense.
Winding country roads provide for a sweet sensory loaded ride, complete with Mother Nature’s fine sense of style. As we forge ahead, we’re unsure what is “Beyond the Bend” but we keep on trucking. Just because we can’t see what is ahead doesn’t mean it’s not going to be worthwhile.
Elvis’ rendition of “Beyond the Bend” from “It Happened at the World’s Fair” is not just a styling of the dreamy voice that soothes and delights us, it’s a cheerful encouraging message as well.
The line “the trip is shorter when you’ve got a friend” rings true in these very unsettling and uncertain times. We aren’t sure what lies beyond the bend nor can we see the stunning art on the front face of the needlework, but we can stand strong together and face the future – Come What May .
Whether it’s the somewhat silly films or the cheesy soundtrack songs – what is within them makes the difference. Those are as appreciated by those who know and understand, as much as the rock and roll birth, the ’68 Comeback and the Aloha special. They may have a different place of reverence and reference, but are still relatable.
Elvis isn’t the answer for everything, but he makes our journey lighter, our trip shorter. His persona and intense connection so many feel bring a comfort and familiarity to a table loaded down with so many unknowns.
We’re fortunate to travel with him and he with us, beyond the bend.
(Link to Beyond the Bend in the comments – definitely worth a listen)
BEYOND THE BEND
(Words & music by Weisman/Wise/Fuller)
Breeze sing a happy song
This heart of mine is singing right along
Don’t know where I’m going
Don’t know where it ends
Till the grass is greener, beyond the bend
I haven’t got a care
I’m just on my way to anywhere
Pocketful of nothing, nothing I can spend
Hope the grass is greener, beyond the bend
Beyond the bend,
Perhaps there’ll be somebody waiting who’s right for me
So I got to move around
And I know I’ve got to cover ground
Oh the trip is shorter when you got a friend
Gotta find that rainbow beyond the bend
Beyond the bend, beyond the bend
RECORDED 9/22/62 first release on It Happened at the World’s Fair
Hollywood Recorders – Hollywood CA