This song seems very appropriate today, as another deadly storm is barreling down on Puerto Rico and Florida. Written and performed by Neil Young, one of the best singer/songwriters of all time, his lyrics can be applied to the masses. That has been one of his great gifts. Some people can write a song or two that relates to people of all backgrounds or generations. Neil Young has been writing those kinds of songs for 50 years. Canadian born, he started his ascent as a part of Buffalo Springfield, co-writing or contributing to great songs like Mr. Soul, For What it’s Worth, and Bluebird with another budding songwriting great Stephen Stills. Their great chemistry led to Neil Young being including in the collaborative group of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. I could write about that group on its own merits, but today I want to focus on Neil Young. He can paint a picture with his words, relatable to most everyone’s experience at some point in their lives. It’s astounding, and he has done it over and over again.
Like a Hurricane depicts a love that was both irresistible and toxic at the same time. While you are in the eye, you feel calm. But once you are blown the the edges of the storm, you can see the intensity and damage that is being done.
You are like a hurricane
There’s calm in your eye
And I’m gettin’ blown away
To somewhere safer where the feeling stays
I want to love you but I’m getting blown away
Now, this does not have to apply to one thing alone. One could relate to many things in life: a lover, a family member, a close friend, or even an illness. I can say that CF has felt like a hurricane at many points in my life, creating chaos and destruction to all aspects of my immediate surroundings. I have lost multiple lovers and close friends over the years, as it can be traumatic to be a bystander. The unrelenting cycle of illness and hospitalizations have created conflict and hurt to my family and marriage. CF can be out of anyone’s control sometimes, like a rabid dog that needs to be put down. But you can only push it down but so far before it comes back seemingly harder and stronger than before.
Sometimes, in the middle of the storm, you can’t assess the damage it is inflicting. Instead, you are just trying to push through and get to the other side. But when you have the ability to step back, you can see the effects, like a boat leaving ripples in its wake. Since I have been a little healthier, and CF hasn’t taken over a majority of my thoughts and concerns for the time being, I have been looking back at the damage. The ones most obviously affected are the ones closest to you: my wife, son, brother and mother. I try to think about their mindset, being concerned about someone they love, watching them struggle while totally helpless to stop the progression. And after a hospitalization and I improve, the people around me can then breathe, but at the same time are holding their breaths for the next storm coming through. Over the years, the storms have been more frequent and severe. (Just like the effects of global warming have caused worsening and more violent weather. It’s a real thing people!!). Since the storm has seemingly passed, even for the moment, it’s hard not to brace for the next one. Yes, the new drug therapy has done wonders. But by no means it is over. I’m not cured. Part of me can’t help wondering when the next illness will hit, and I’m sure the people around me feel the same. What happens to me happens to them as well. So while I’m not metaphorically boarding up my windows for a new storm, the chronic and unrelenting nature of this depicts there is a storm on the horizon. I just don’t know how far away.