I Hung My Head


Sitting out on the front porch one evening several weeks ago I become aware of two wars going on. War number one is such: Though it’s was another awesome night here in the heartland , the temperature  and the humidity are battling it out  for who can be the highest. The second war is thus:  Is the beauty of the fireflies stronger than the annoyance of the mosquitoes? Well you can guess who won as I headed inside in defeat. I turned on some tunes and reclined in my favorite chair for a reprieve from natures war raging on outside.

As the hauntingly wonderful sounds of Johnny Cash’s version of ” I Hung My Head”  on American IV : The Man Comes Around swirls through the room it got my gray matter wondering something: How many times have I said something that hurt others when all I was trying to do was, as the song says ” I drew a bead on him To practice my aim”. Flippant words spouted just because they ran past my mind’s eye. The filter between what is  useless, mean and rude words and what is useful,  healthy dialog  shuts down. Not maintaining this filter usually cause damage to others but also does us harm as well.

The song goes on :

My brother’s rifle
Went off in my hand
A shot rang out
Across the land
The horse, he kept running
The rider was dead
I hung my head
I hung my head

The lyrics sear my soul and they take me down another road. One that is not easy to traverse for it leads to hard questions I have to answer to remain somewhat human. Questions such as these: How many dreams and hopes wilted or died because I was less than encouraging or just out right negative in my views and opinion? How many times have I hurt the ones I love because I hid  my hurt behind uncaring words? Honestly I really do not want to know because I am afraid I couldn’t stand under the weight of the truth.  I hung my head, I hung my head.

The fact that relationships and interactions with others are as frustrating as trying to capture a lifting fog at dawn, it  helps to put this into perspective. I understand that I cannot go back and change the past but maybe I can  inflicted less damage from here on out. Just maybe.

‡ Authors Note: This post was original posted on September 4, 2010.‡

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