For good or bad, I’ve always been a Deadhead. Yeah, some people complain that they were shitty as musicians and couldn’t get into the whole “drug scene” and some of their concerts tended to suck but for me, they were like a traveling minstrel show. They kept popping up in towns every year and I wouldn’t want to put a number on the miles that I traveled over the years to catch them. I think I read one of those critics a long time ago that likened one of their shows to that of a dream you might have of jumping off a cliff.

Sometimes you soar with the eagles and sometimes you come crashing back to the ground.

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

It’s a weird phenomena but many people report suffering severe bouts of depression after having open heart surgery. So far, the shrinks and the surgeons don’t know why that is or what causes it or how long it will last. They only know that it happens. If they ever want to get a study together, I’d be glad to offer them my two cents worth.

I think that many people who have been “put under” for a period of time during an operation would like to know what happened during those hours. Having your body temperature lowered to something like 88 degrees Fahrenheit and being pumped full of drugs isn’t something that happens everyday. Where did you go for those six or seven hours? What were you feeling all that time? After all, a person who might as well be stranger to you is holding your life in their hands and you are helpless to do anything about it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that putting your fate into another’s hands requires a very huge leap of faith.

Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?
Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?

For most of us, second chances don’t come along all that often and when they do, the last thing you want to do is blow them. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been given more shots at the basket than I deserve. Each time out I’d have hoped to learn more about “life in general” and each time out I seem to come back more disappointed than the last. Maybe that’s a contributing factor to the depression that some people feel.

Maybe I’m so mad at myself for letting other folks see me this way that at times I wish I would’ve been left on the table. I don’t think anybody ever wants to consider themselves a burden on anyone else.

’Round, ‘round robin run around,
got to get back to where you belong,
Little bit harder, just a little bit more,
A little bit further than you gone before.

Denial is a funny thing. One day you wake up with so many tubes protruding out you that you look like an octopus and the next thing you know you think you’re invincible. So you try to take things in stride and live life like you used to. A few beers here, a few cigarettes there and the next thing you know the same old habits that got you to where you were in the first place have reared their ugly heads and you stare in the mirror and wonder if you’ve learned anything along the way.

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

And then one day, it finally dawns on you. Could it be that you, yes you, were your own worst enemy? That all those “people that you hate” and “jobs that suck” weren’t the ones that conspired to put you in the state you’re in?

Usually, this of type revelation might inspire happiness or some kind of contentment knowing that you’re secure in the knowledge that you finally have things figured out.

And you vow to change. You vow to make amends for not only your past ways and the people that you’ve hurt along the way but you vow to make things better.

And you don’t…

And you know it…

And you become depressed…

And the cycle begins anew…

Small wheel turn by the fire and rod,
Big wheel turn by the grace of god,
Every time that wheel turn 'round,
Your bound to cover just a little more ground.

I think that there are very few of us who will wind up lying on our deathbeds that won’t wonder the same thing. The whole “I could’ve” or I should’ve” argument will be in full swing and it’ll probably be too late to take sides. The thing about recovering from major surgery is that, in a way, you have been given a second chance.

I don’t care whether your beliefs tell you to thank the doctors, to thank the God or gods you worship or to thank the little old lady or man that lives down the street, second chances are hard to come by.

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

Maybe it’s the thunder of my thoughts inside my head every now and then or the streak of lightning that flies through my chest every so often that needs to remind me that in that dream, the one the critics likened to a Grateful Dead concert, I’ve soared with the eagles many more times than I’ve crashed to the ground.

Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?
Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?

We can all do that…

For her and some words she sent my way….

See Grateful Dead lyrics for any issues regarding copyright.

Peace

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