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I have a battered old soft-sided briefcase that was made in Hong Kong before some of you were born. I bought it to carry my Army stuff in, hauled it around the globe while I did my time with Uncle Sam.

There’s no army stuff in there any more. That all got replaced with other stuff over time.

Now that briefcase is filled with music and poetry and copyright certificates. Demo tapes from when I was going to be a famous musician. Guitar sonatinas and interludes. Doodlings and drawings. Clumsy attempts at art by a naive young man who would turn into a naive old man as the years rolled by.

A pile of raggedy old memories that sits in its hiding place, high up on a closet shelf.

I put those memories aside to do other things, but lately that briefcase has been calling to me, demanding that I remember. TheĀ demands got louder and louder, until I finally gave in to the urge, dragged that old briefcase down and started digging through it.

One piece in particular was trying hard to get my attention, a little ditty I wrote so long ago I couldn’t remember all the words. I pulled it out, looked it over, and everything came back to me.

I remembered.

*****

To Lori Anne

You’re born for the living
You live for the dying
And you die for the living again
That’s the way the river runs
Lori Anne

You hold out your heart
To the broken down people
Hoping that they’ll understand.
That’s the way the river runs
Lori Anne

You pour out your life like a drink of cool water
And it’s soaked up like rain on dry sand
For the empty’s so great there’s no way you can fill it
The river runs on
Through a desolate land

Lori Anne
Don’t ever lose sight of your dream
Lori Anne
Keep reaching
Keep trying
Keep your heart in the stream

You’re born for the living
You live for the dying
And you die for the living again
That’s the way the river runs
Lori Anne

*****

Huh. It’s ethereal and maybe a bit nebulous, but even after all the time that’s passed, I still like it.

Well, enough reminiscing.

It’s time to put that old briefcase back in its hiding place up on the closet shelf. Those musty old memories will stay tucked away there, safe from any nosing and prying until the next time they call out to me.

But I remember, all right.

I remember.