Train in the Distance

I have always liked Simon and Garfunkel’s music – I can remember when I was about 13 or 14 the sweet shop at the top of the road used to sell records as well. I was very excited when I saw a Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits LP at a reasonably cheap price that I could afford. Rather naively, I didn’t check the small print – when I got it home, I found that the full title was “Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits (performed by Sefton and Bartholomew)” Even now, some forty years later I can still remember the names of the cover artists!! I guess they were reasonable versions, but they weren’t the real thing! What a disappointment!

Look what I found on Amazon’s site!

We like Paul Simon’s solo stuff too and on my drive to work yesterday I was listening to the live version of his concert in the park in New York. On it he sings one of Mr FD’s favourite Paul Simon songs “Train in the Distance” and one of the lines got me thinking:

The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains”

Is that true? Is it a human trait to always think that life could be better? Do we all have a sense of yearning after something more?

I’m not sure if that is the case. I do sometimes wish we had more money, but only in the sense that if we had a bit more we wouldn’t need to think so hard before buying things…and we’d be able to give more away. But I think that, in general, I am satisfied with my life.

But there is also that line from St Augustine:

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

Maybe this is where that sense of “it could be better…” comes from: our hearts are spiritual things, but in this world the spiritual is often ignored for the more immediate, physical pleasures and satisfactions. And somewhere, deep within us, there is a yearning for inner peace, for less striving to have and more striving to be

Certainly when I do make time for God (not often enough, I fear!) it is then that I feel more settled. I am on an even keel, I have found my true axis.

What do you think? Do you agree that we always feel life could be better…?

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7 Responses to Train in the Distance

  1. joyknitt says:

    Hi FD, I am not a christian, I do not believe in your god or in organised religion, but I do meditate, which is a very spiritual “activity”, I also practise “gratitude”, which makes me very, very grateful for all that I am and have, right now my life couldn’t be better.

    • fatdormouse says:

      I think that if we all practised “gratitude” there would be less yearning and envy. I found myself complaining (to myself!) yesterday, so instead of carrying on grumbling, I forced myself instead to consider the myriad things I had to be grateful about. Yes, my joints hurt – but there’s medication; yes, it’s bloomin’ cold – but I have a warm house; yes, I have to cook dinner AGAIN – but I have food to cook, and a lovely man to cook for…and so on. Happiness is, I believe, a state of mind. Like the wonderful Niel Baldwin said in “Marvellous” I have decided to be happy.

      • joyknitt says:

        Yes, you are right, happiness is a state of mind. You can choose to be happy, or you can choose not to be happy. BTW, I put a package in the post for you on Wednesday, hope it arrives soon, x x x

  2. I think that yearning is the God-shaped hole you refer to.

  3. I don’t see the point in thinking that life could be better. ‘If only’ is a useless way to think. After all life could be worse. I do count my blessings regularly to put my life in perspective.

  4. fatdormouse says:

    You’re right, Trish. You can’t change what has gone before, but you can be grateful for what is, and what is to be. Someone on Ship of Fools has a signature “I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” A good way to think, perhaps…

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