“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato
I’ve been thinking about the song One Headlight by the Wallflowers. In 1998, it won for the Best Rock Song. The song was written by Jakob Dylan (Bob Dylan’s son) and he says “I tend to write with a lot of metaphors and images, so people take them literally. The song’s meaning is all in the first verse. It’s about the death of ideas”. There are many interpretations of this concept, so I’ll add mine … we are all driving with one headlight. If you are a driver, you know while it’s difficult, it’s not impossible. That’s my perspective, especially as I interact with others.
These are two stories about my favorite niece (that’s easy to say, I only have one niece), that relate to this idea. When she was real young, she came up to visit and we did an outing to the zoo. We went to see the flamingo exhibit, she looked at me and said “they’re broken!” The other story is this, one of the pets in her family is a female chihuahua. If you’ve been around that breed of dogs, you know they shake quite a bit. When you ask my niece about it, she says “it’s her inner power!” I think both of those are great examples of what we do with one headlight.
I love the announcers for the San Francisco Giants. Both Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow have played the game of baseball professionally and I’ve learned heaps about the game listening to them. I think people who have played the game give a unique perspective of what’s happening. They paint a picture of the sport having been there that is very special. They tell you what it was like and share the things at which they are looking. Mike Krukow announced last year that he has something called inclusion-body mitosis. It’s a degenerative muscle disease that causes progressive weakening in the hands, legs and feet. An article for one of the local San Francisco papers said people around Krukow find themselves trading in their concern for laughter. He has a great sense of humor. “I cannot do stairs” he says. “I’m like Tarzan shimmying down a vine.” Now doesn’t that put a huge smile on your face? It’s a great visual image. That is a great example of one headlight!
After I had the stroke, Matt made the bathroom in our master bedroom a “wet bathroom.” He took out the standard shower and put in lots of tile. He put a bench in the bathroom and everything can get wet. There isn’t anything stored in there. It allows me the freedom to be independent. As the song says “it feels like Independence Day.” Matt also calls me Elastigirl (Helen Parr from The Incredibles). In many ways that’s a perfect metaphor! I just need to stretch a little more! I can do it even with one headlight. Here’s another thing we did in the hose. We have no carpet, everything is either hardwood or tile. It’s easier for me to get around on those surfaces.
I’ve mentioned that Plato quote before. For some of us, it’s easy to see what that one headlight is and for others, it’s not so easy. We are all driving with one headlight! Here’s a line from the song and it emphasizes the importance of others (real or imagined imagined) in this journey. “But me and Cinderella, we put it all together, we can drive it home, with one headlight.”
“This little light of mine ……”