Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Love You Can't See

A few weeks back I was introduced to a powerful but simple tune by Leon Payne, a blind man who wrote a good many songs back in his heyday in the 1940s. It's called The Selfishness in Man, and has been recorded by Bobby Osborn, Ricky Scaggs, and the great George Jones. It's also on the latest Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver recording featuring the memorable tenor voice of Jamie Daley, who is leaving Quicksilver at the end of the year.

The kids and I spent part of the day with X's family, as his grandmother passed away last week. His family was sizeable; Grandma was one of ten children. The best story I can remember is that her brothers had a contract out on her future husband, and I clarified today that it was for no other reason than that he was from the M family. That's it. That was enough.

Now, indeed that was a long time ago, but if my X's grandma and her sweetheart Joe had not thwarted the dirty plan, my children would not be who they are today.

So here's to working around all those prejudices of "just because." Look at the world. What a mess. It's amazing that any of us can cultivate love and make a family happen with the demands of life and the pitfalls of our psyches, let alone war, taxes, and Shrub making our country the enemy of the world. In today's world it's damn near a miracle sometimes. And when love is created and found, it needs to be shared and spread, as quickly as possible given the state of things.

I'm always emboldened by the real love stories of friends and family. I've even come across a few bloggers who's family ties have touched my heart. There is a sweetness that I can appreciate and am very grateful for, to know that this love is out there somewhere in the world. That's how it should be. Love is a binding agent, it helps to heal whatever it touches, beyond the two or more people generating it.

Listening to the first few lines of this song very clearly, remember that Leon Payne was blind. He reached beyond that to give us this song and give us his certain kind of love.

And I have a certain kind of love for many of you out there. Some I don't know well at all, and some I know better than I realize, and there are those in between. I am grateful for the ways you've touched me, and it helps me to stretch beyond my own selfishness to do whatever I do every day. Special thanks today Joe and Ann Mattoni, for being part of my life and for your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren--my own children--who became a part of my life, and for all the ways they have influenced me in part to help me become who I am.

The Selfishness of Man

I saw a little beam of sunlight
Steal across a purple sky
And bend down to kiss a rosebud
Oh it made me want to cry
To think that I had been permitted
To see a part of nature's plan oh
There's nothing that stands out more
Than the selfishness in man

Little children painting pictures
Of the birds and apple trees oh
Why can't the grownup people
Have the faith of one of these?
And to think those tiny fingers
Might become a killer's hands oh
There's nothing that stands out more
Than the selfishness in man

Why can't we see the folly
Or the uselessness of hate?
Love could lead to understanding
Maybe it's not too late

Then perhaps in his great wisdom
We might learn to understand
Then there'd be no shame nor sorrow
And no selfishness in man
Then there'd be no shame nor sorrow
And no selfishness in man


At May 07, 2007 5:52 PM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

Your words are so beautiful.

Shameless Agitator

At May 07, 2007 8:27 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Thanks, Shameless.

At May 07, 2007 9:23 PM, Blogger Women on the Verge said...

We love you too mama!!!


At May 08, 2007 7:45 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Good to know that some "contracts" are broken.

At May 08, 2007 9:41 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Aww, thanks Ethel.

That's right, Blueberry. Seems some contracts are meant to be broken. Based on the number of folks from both sides present at the various gatherings, I'd say that old gripe is long over.

At February 05, 2009 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your rude reference to former President Bush was gratuitous. It will be interesting to see what epithets you use for our new President--or is He too perfect?

At February 05, 2009 8:21 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Anon, clearly you're a newcomer. That's probably the nicest thing I've ever said about former President Bush II. His Presidency was the worst in our history. He has, in fact, compromised our national security with his and his cronies' arrogant policies. He ruined our economy, and didn't listen to a single advisor, including his own father, about this war that now costs upwards of $10 billion a month. If you're proud of all that, then maybe this ain't the place to hang out unless you're a real serious bluegrass fan.

As for President Obama, he's already admitted that he's not perfect, which is far more than his predecessor was capable of doing. And it might not mean much to you, but I'm sure glad to have a thinker back in the Oval Office. Sorry you don't feel the same.


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