Orinoco August Blog 2015- “Hand Me Time And I Will Hand You A Life”
“Hand Me Time And I Will Hand You A Life”
So another month has disappeared into the history books. Another month of senseless killings, assaults and whatever violence that has been shown on T.V.
“Hey man, what the f*** you been smoking? Way too heavy topic for the website.”
“Oh yeah, thanks for helping me snap me out of it bro, I was watching the news while I began writing this blog.”
“I wasn’t helping, I was bored.”
“I thought you were bored with my jokes and shit?”
“Well I prefer to be bored hearing you kill a joke then you actually talk about someone getting killed.”
“Well thanks anyway, but as I said before please sit down at the back.”
“I will take that as a no.”
Well it is August and I have decided not to write about my usual songs and how they were created.
Today I am going to touch on a man, Alistor McCormack my uncle, who died a few weeks ago.
He was a very talented man, especially in creative writing and music. He, like most writers was a little bit tortured as the job of writing never seemed done. As he always said.
“Writing is an itch you just can’t quite scratch”.
There are a couple of coincidences that Alistor and I shared.
Al discovered he could write when a Christian Brother read an essay that he wrote when he was at school and commended him on his talent.
This is very similar to my story but instead of a Christian Brother telling me, it was a teacher who had left the Christian Brothers. He entered a short prose I wrote into a writing competition and I actually won it.
I could have left it as dumb luck but like Al I took it on board that a talent shouldn’t be wasted and decided to pursue the passion. This in not to say anything has come of it, but it is a passion.
Al was in a successful cover band in the 70’s and 80’s called Summer Reign. He was the drummer and the lead singer.
I was also a drummer. In fact I was the best damn air drummer a young kid could dream of. This skill came to the fore when I was “JAMMING” with my brother and cousins to Kiss’s Dynasty album.
Ironically the first real drum kit I actually saw was Alistors’ and the moment I got behind it and started playing I realised I was completely shit at it.
The last time I spoke to Al we were off to a script writer group catch up. He talked of his new projects he was working on and how he still disliked working for the man, even though working for the man still meant he was writing.
Through the conversation we had, I felt as if he believed he had never achieved anything. He never made it too Hollywood, or played at Madison Square Garden or won the Pulizter Prize, but success is sometimes not measured in the final prize but just the small victories you have on the way.
Alistors’ life was was full of small victories, through his music and writing and his generous nature and personality.
Not everyone can be John Lennon…
“Hey dude, you mentioned John Lennon in your last blog, you need to find some new material.”
“Hmmmm Get F*****”
Anyway, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted by the guy in the back.
Not everyone can be John Lennon, but John Lennon never affected my life as Alistor McCormack did.
So a toast to all of you and your life quests. May you have your small victories, and you never know you may just win some battles and even your war.
Before I go, Alistor wrote a poem back in 1984 aptly named the “Hands of Time” which is below.
HANDS OF TIME
To each of us is given one handful of time
to see us through dark days and fine.
Some may have large hands and yours may seem small,
but each handful of time suits every soul.
You may use your special handful however you wish
to help a friend or a child to bless.
To cast to the wind upon wings of a dream
or spread it upon a sea so blue
But always remember each time you do
it is precious and finite and ever so true
Share some with your God who cares from above
and much with the people by whom you are loved.
Some with your angel who looks on with pride
and keeps you safe in your every stride
Some with the person who lives down the street
and the one who waits patiently
whom you are yet to greet
The one you dismissed as less than your station
or blighted your cheek with no explanation.
They may just be whom your God divine,
has sent to share your handful of time
More precious than gold or silver or wine
in autumn and spring, rain and shine
use it wisely my friend you are given but one
your very own handful of time.
(From Cobblestone Road © 1984)