His sister calls him Boy. Still. Now in their 30’s she calls out Boy and the Boy has to have sound playing. Something, always, in the background. In the car he quickly commandeered the radio, asking, “mom, what are the good stations?” I tell him there aren’t any, I listen to my iPod. After one night in town he tells me there are good stations, just not my kind.
His words stuck as we have similar taste in music and have always found common ground there. Songs he was singing along to, band names, not familiar. I wanted to defend myself. Tell him I listen to more than old rock and start mentally compiling a list of newish bands I like. I come up with The Lone Bellow quickly and he doesn’t know them and we sit with that gap.
I watch my aunt, 81 or 82 now, and I’ve never seen her fret over age. She has always accepted who she is. Embraced the mantle of age. That is a certain kind of grace, one I’m not wearing well.
The old is new again and we’re buying pillows made of feed sacks and record players and the label vintage sells many things. Next to our iPads are stacks of records and the hand-powered chopper from the antique mall has replaced our food processor. The old looks good next to the new and their worlds seem to be merging more and more.
Last Sunday we sang old hymns. Our little threesome who have taught themselves to play guitar got a break while our volunteer pianist, herself in her 80’s, plunked out ‘To God Be the Glory‘ and ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus‘. It’s not as lively when we sing the old songs because few of these men know them. Church music of any kind is new to many of them but the old hymns, they are fading more. A friend once wrote we learn our theology from the old hymns and there is truth to that.
Most Sundays, the old and new are side by side in worship service. ‘Mighty to Save‘ next to ‘Power in the Blood’ because we honor the offering of music not paying allegiance to a style, thankful we don’t have to choose between old and new, one over the other.
I try a little too hard to cling to the youth that has faded. The external youth, when I need to be concerned with keeping the heart fresh. Embracing the truths that are eternal and ageless.