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Thoughts From The Corner

August 8, 2012

"thoughts from the corner"

So, there I was listening to Jackson Browne’sThe Pretender‘ while doing the ironing.

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I know, I know, shouldn’t I be out doing a bit of home tutoring? Well, I guess that even home tutors need to relax sometime. Am I alone in seeing ironing as therapeutic? Of course, there are times when it gets to the back and the legs but the answer is simple – do in two piles, two piles = two lots of therapy.

I consider Jackson Browne to be the greatest ever singer/songwriter. Now I hear you saying, ‘What about Bob Dylan? And anyway, I’ve never even heard of Jackson what’s-his-name’.

I first discovered him 35 years ago on my first visit to the U.S.of A. As someone who had been brought up on Slade, Sweet and Mud, when I heard him, I couldn’t believe that such wonderful poetry could be put with such beautiful music. You’ve guessed it, I have all his CD’s, have seen him many times in concerts and ‘yes’ I do hero-worship him.

I know that ‘hero-worship’ is a phrase not usually associated with someone my age, probably more for teenage girls with Justin Bieber and the likes and boys with footballers. Well no, I do ‘hero-worship’ (or ‘strongly admire’ if you prefer) him and others such as Dickens, Shakespeare and Browning. All have a place in my head and heart.

Back to the ironing. There I was, ironing my ‘smalls’ when that lyric ‘hit’ me once again:

Caught between the longing for love

And the struggle for the legal tender

It took me twenty years or so of listening to this track (‘The Pretender‘) before I picked up on those lines and started to think about them. Now, every time I hear them my thoughts wander. Once you realise that ‘legal tender’ means money the power of the statement comes to the fore.

There are a lot of people out there whose lives are like a hamster on a wheel. They are forever running after money. The faster they ‘run’ the faster the wheel of life turns. Lost in that unwinnable race are human relationships. We all long for love but it is the ‘struggle for the legal tender’ that often wins the race.

It is, perhaps, assumed that private English tutors and one to one home Sociology teachers devote their lives to the likes of reading poetry and reading up on Research Methods, but that is not always so. Whilst watching the last ever episode of ‘Desperate Housewives‘ recently, these two erstwhile home tutors held back the tears as Gabby and Carlos chased after the legal tender and re-discovered their love for each other.

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