This morning, while heading into the office, I heard a not-so-new song on our local country station.
The song was “If I Die Young”, by the Band Perry. The story line is a young girl singing about the possibility of her too-sudden demise. While the “why” and “wherefore” precipitating her demise are some what obscured, there is the haunting refrain of “the sharp knife of a short life”.
That has stuck with me through-out the day. Oh, I have heard this song numerous times; but not before have the lyrics lingered in my mind.
Recently, our daughter-in-law's younger brother was killed in a traffic accident. The young man was only 23. Family and friends who knew him are feeling the sharp knife of a short life. Cliches come to mind, Billy Joel singing “Only the Good Die Young” makes a resurgence in one's memory. Then, Life goes on.
Yet, what constitutes a short life?
Is there a line denoting when a sufficient amount of time has passed?
Is a life counted in length of days? Or number of experiences one has?
To some, I have seen relative length of days.
From my perspective, I am looking forward to many, many more sunrises.
And... sharp knives.
The “joking around” which no-one else finds amusing.
The forgiveness with-held.
The Lord knows I have wielded far too many sharp knives.
One thing about crossing a few hills; one either mellows, or one becomes more acidic.
I attempt to keep in mind the advice of Thomas Jefferson: “When angry, count to 10. When very angry, count to 100.”
The wisest man Solomon wrote: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Then, his brother turns around to state “but no human being can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
Life has enough sharp knives of its own.
The life cut short.
The debilitating illness.
The relationship torn apart.
The loss of a beloved pet.