I was a teenager in the 70’s – a disco loving, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Smokey and the Bandit, Captain and Tennille, Bread, Carpenters, teenager. Gloria Gaynor told us we would survive. Perhaps we could use a little of that now.
The groovy 70’s new ideas, new role models and new experiences both shaped us and confounded us. Those teen years are just plain difficult under the best of circumstances. We spouted Farrah Fawcett wings as we listened to Paul McCartney’s Wings and wondered what type of soaring the future held.
Despite women’s lib and post moon walks and political party break in’s, my world of mostly innocence held onto a dreamy hopelessly romantic edge. Somehow I knew that handsome guitar wielding, singing, race car driver I’d fallen in love with while still in single digits, was just around the bend, where a brand new day was on the horizon. During any time of confusion and uncertainty, the one true north and forever love was always in residence on the house on the hill.
The transition between high school and college carried with it a most awful living nightmare – the one where the King was no more, a practically unbearable reality.
His music had sustained me during periods of teenage angst. His voice soothed like none other and bridged a real but unexplainable connection, one that to this day remains unbroken. The teen angst was replaced with real life adult drama and heartbreak, and joy and gratitude. That beautiful voice still provides now all that it did then – and more.
As an adult you can see the larger picture. Both sides of the tapestry can be beautiful and the intricate life weavings assign importance equally to the knots and snarls and the smooth colorful masterpiece. You learn and grow. Through it all, Elvis matters greatly as he always has, unchanging. It’s us who are different, older, much wiser.
This past week, and the past several months have brought a myriad of conflicting emotions, with some fear and deep concern at the forefront. When I feel overwhelmed, I purposely remember, and I listen with greater intent, hearing with my whole heart and being. Elvis always brings comfort. Not everyone understands. He is a reminder to me of all that is right and good. Leaning on that undefinable Presley conduit brings beautiful peace and calm amid any painful storm. The loving Presley balm heals the hurt.
Even music of the era that isn’t Elvis, easily reminds me where I was in those days, never in a million years imagining where I am now. Jim Croce sang of putting time in a bottle, how I wish …
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
‘Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.
My gratitude for all that is saved through the familiar loving voice, the intonations and grunts and laughter, all that makes up the emotions we feel pass from his soul to ours, could not be expressed in a million words.
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you.
Regardless of all that has happened in the past and whatever else may occur in the future, none of it can ever rob us of the connection we are so fortunate to experience.
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you.
and answer them he did.