Graceland

(1 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Graceland Lyrics

“The Mississippi Delta was shining

Like a National guitar,

I am following the river

Down the highway

Through the cradle of the civil war,

I’m going to Graceland

Graceland

In Memphis Tennessee

I’m going to Graceland,

Poorboys and Pilgrims with families

And we are going to Graceland,

My traveling companion is nine years old

She is the child of my first marriage,

But I’ve reason to believe

We both will be received

In Graceland,

She comes back to tell me she’s gone,

As if I didn’t know that

As if I didn’t know my own bed,

As if I’d never noticed,

The way she brushed her hair from her forehead,

And she said losing love

Is like a window in your heart,

Everybody sees you’re blown apart,

Everybody sees the wind blow,



I’m going to Graceland,

Memphis Tennessee

I’m going to Graceland,

Poorboys and Pilgrims with families

And we are going to Graceland,

And my traveling companions

Are ghosts and empty sockets

I’m looking at ghosts and empties,

But I’ve reason to believe

We all will be received

In Graceland,

There is a girl in New York City,

Who calls herself the human trampoline,

And sometimes when I’m falling flying

Or tumbling in turmoil I say

Whoa so this is what she means,

She means we’re bouncing into Graceland,

And I see losing love

Is like a window in your heart,

Everybody sees you’re blown apart,

Everybody feels the wind blow,

In Graceland Graceland,

I’m going to Graceland,

For reasons I cannot explain

There’s some part of me wants to see

Graceland,

And I may be obliged to defend

Every love every ending

Or maybe there’s no obligations now,

Maybe I’ve a reason to believe

We all will be received

In Graceland

(Pause)

Woah in graceland graceland graceland

i’m going to graceland”

My traveling companion is nine years old:

Christina

And she’s  gone ahead to Graceland.

Christina Taylor Green, (b. 9-11-2001, d. 01-08-2011)

Christina is a female name originating from Christian. It is a common name throughout the world with many variants. Its means “Christian,” or “Christ-Bearer.” Some sources also list “Angelic,” and “Faithful” as meanings as well.

Christina was all of those character attributes and aspirational as well. She got into politics at age seven in the Obama craze. She ran for school council. She was the only girl on the baseball team. A family friend, Susan Hileman, took her to see Gaby. The friend held her up in front and as Gaby spoke to Christina, telling her that she could grow up to be a congresswoman, Gaby’s voice left her and Christina’s life left her.

Christina was born 11 Sep 2001. She died on 8 Jan 2011. Tragic bookends as life markers, birth and death. Both her coming and her going are now part of American history and lore. She lived in a time of non-stop wars and financial calamity to rival the Great Depression. But there she is – a bright-eyed, smiling child full of promise and believing that politics can make a difference in improving people’s lives.

An open heart, an open mind and a wide open future. The little Christ girl is  gone from the flesh but her image and her smile and her spirit still flow among us. Haunting dreams, tragic loss, every parent’s nightmare come true – the random, meaninglessness of sudden loss. The ghosts and the sockets. The visual and aural memories and the hole, the empty socket, she left in the lives she touched.



She is now an American martyr. She is innocence lost to deranged insanity. Was it the hate radio and media that drove the shooter? We don’t know yet. The purveyors of hate radio and media and politics are so quick to cover their tracks, re-interpret their words, point the finger of blame elsewhere so  obviously that they indict themselves by their very frenzy of not me, not me, not me. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Some people push those on the edge over it and say, hey, it wasn’t me. They know who they are. We know who they are.

=================

I always liked Graceland by Paul Simon but I never really listened to the lyrics until Paul approached Willie Nelson about including it on Willie’s next album. Story goes that Willie never got the lyrics either until Paul explained that it was a song about the loss of a loved one. Willie had just lost his son to a personal tragedy. Together they included it in that next album and I came to hear the words finally

I came to understand that Graceland is the place of Grace. God’s Grace. Christina is there for sure. Paul sings:

“In Graceland Graceland,

I’m going to Graceland,

For reasons I cannot explain

There’s some part of me wants to see

Graceland,

And I may be obliged to defend

Every love every ending

Or maybe there’s no obligations now,

Maybe I’ve a reason to believe

We all will be received

In Graceland.”

=========================

Christina’s death shook us all, deeply. Is she the Neda, the young girl brutally killed in Iran become symbol of defiance to a corrupt government? Is she the Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi force for social change and no more corrupt government? His sacrifice was planned – and worked. Christina’s was an accident of time, place and aspiration. All she had to offer was her pure innocence. Shouldn’t that be enough?

We need a symbol with real values, an event that affected us all. Bush used 9/11 for war, greed and the politics of cynicism. Obama has moved with grace but he’s just the president. Great leadership at a special moment. What we need is someone’s life around which to come together. To get over our petty differences and find our common ground. We, too, are subjects of an amoral corruptotocracy that has stolen democracy out from under us.

The current government is too preoccupied with their day-to-day skirmishes, ego bloat and fund raising for the eternal next cycle. They have no time to care for our  needs. It’s up to us to educate them and get their attention focused on the needs of ordinary Americans today. Not in 2012, 2014, 2020, Today. Now.

Christina died in a sudden, brutal now. We shouldn’t let her life go to old news in one week. Same for the other five killed. Same for the acts of heroism. Real heroism.

Great change in America is frequently built on the foundation of tragedy. If we give up a litle of ourselves and reach out to those with whom we disagree on some subjects then we have a chance at incremental change. Honesty, open-mindedness, open-heartedness and willingness to listen and change our own minds. To accept the differences and find the Common Ground that makes us all Americans who were repulsed so badly by this young girl’s death.

Maybe in her memory and loss we can build something new from something old and rededicate this country to the dream of which it was born. We are a better people than those wo would drive wedges between us and exploit us for power and financial gain. We are a nation of common people and common decency, not a nation of billionaires and uncommon greed and lust for power.

We are the vast majority on both sides. Set aside the rhetoric and differences. Let’s find the Common Ground and get this nation ready for the Christina generation. Let’s leave them a nation of which we can all be proud.

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Paul and Willie, Graceland:

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Coda, another song from another occasion of great and senseless loss:

The Silver Bird was RFK’s funeral train from LA to NYC. Let’s not lose Christina’s gift of life.

12 comments

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    • RUKind on January 19, 2011 at 9:52 am
      Author
  1. what a beautiful essay. This needed saying.

    And … Ive always loved that song.

  2. So eloquently spoken, so precise in content.

    The Vision remains

    10,000 people maybe more…

    The words of the phrophets are written on subway walls and tenement halls…

    We have the vision, we have the song, open the corral and let loose the open hearted ponies to roam the amber fields of grain……..silenced no more.

    Common cause – the Tea Party and the Progressive Plurality – a must-be situation if there is to be any hope of survival of our bio-sphere.

    Be well.

    • Edger on January 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    • RUKind on January 23, 2011 at 5:39 am
      Author

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