Best of Spirits

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Best of Spirits

Aunt Anna

All her friends have died off long ago

     Dm                    C
Aunt Anna will turn ninety-nine this year
        C                           Dm
All her friends have died off long ago
     Dm                         C
It's harder these days for Aunt Anna to hear
     C                      Dm
It's harder still for us to know
     F           Em         Bb     Dm
What thoughts go on in Aunt Anna's head.
    Dm             C        Em
Sometimes her eyes seem so alive.
     F            Em            Bb      Dm
This could be the last year for Anna to live,
      Dm           C           Em
We've said for the last twenty-five!
     F          Em         Dm
Aunt Anna still finds it a nice thing to do
   F           Em           Dm
To put all the young people on.
       F          Em            Dm
With a wink and a smile all her mirth will show through
    C                      Dm
And two moments later it's gone.
Mindful Webworks | Best of Spirits | Aunt Anna, page 2
     Dm                    C
Aunt Anna will turn ninety-nine this year
    C                           Dm
Her breath comes sometimes in a wheeze.
    Dm                           C
She burps when she wants like an infant child
     C                  Dm
Aunt Anna has no one to please.
        F        Em     Bb    Dm
And the children cannot comprehend
        Dm       C           Em
And the old ones say she's insane
    F   Em             Bb Dm
And sometimes she's so aimless
    Dm      C         Em
She doesn't know what words to say
      or what games to play
        F       Em        Dm
And I'd love to tell her, no, you're not old,
        F       Em      Dm
And I'd love to see her go on
Aunt Anna stories

Mary Jo's Great-Aunt Anna lived to be ninety-nine years old. It was an honor to know her.

There are many Aunt Anna stories to tell, but I will leave them to those who knew her better. Here, though, are two of my favorites, one from before I knew her, and one of my own experience.

I am told that when President Richard Nixon was resigning, some young person (to Aunt Anna, everyone was a young person) asked her what she thought about it. After a pause, in her creaky old voice, she commented, "He just couldn't believe he got the job!" Probably no political analyst ever summed it up better.

AnnaOne day wife Mary Jo and I were going across the street for some ice cream, and we were "taking orders" from anyone else who wanted some. My mother-in-law, "Bubby," turned to Aunt Anna and asked, "Do you want some ice cream?" Anna, hard of hearing, croaked, "Whaaat?" Bubby repeated the question, "Do you want some ice cream?" and Anna, frustrated a bit by her ailing body as she often was, asked with greater intensity, "WHAAAAT?" At which point, in that way some people do some times, Bubby spoke loudly enough to be heard, but this time changed the question, "DO YOU LIKE ICE CREAM?" The message registered in Anna's face, a moment of startle, a brief look of puzzlement, and then she repeated, "Do I like ice cream?" She looked me right in the eye, winked boldly, and replied, "Noooo, I don't like ice cream." With a wink and a smile all her mirth would show through; and two moments later, it's gone. I'll always remember.

Best of Spirits


Kids find so many ways to ask why. Well, why not?

C               Dm
Why do diamonds come from coal?
F              C
Why is New Mexico?
C           F       Am
Why is fire hot and not
   a crystal like the snow?

C                   Dm
Why not three sides to a square?
F               C
Why is the sky above?
C               Am
Why when babies cry
  do mothers care
    and why is love?
Why do birds lay eggs?
Why doesn't water run uphill?
Why is money? Why is funny?
   Why is William Bill?

Why chip potatoes? Pick tomatoes?
Lick an ice cream cone?
Why is a crowd so loud?
   Why do I sometimes feel alone?
Why is cheer? Why is fear?
Why is L.S.D.?
Why was Hitler? Why is Buddha?
   Why do you and me?

Why are what? how? who? how often?
When? Which? Where? and Why?
Why is a three year old?
   Why is the Fourth of July?

Why why why why why why why?
   Why is the Fourth of July?

Best of Spirits

It's Your Decision

It's all in your mind!

Segue sometimes from Infinitive
It's your decision
     F           G
It's all in your mind
To pick up your choice
        F          G
Or keep dragging behind.
The world is your apple,
        F           G
They're waiting for you.
    A                   F
:|  Make sure you don't bite off
   more than you can chew. |:
Potential placement,
That's just you today.
The path may be chosen
But you choose to go the way.
You choose how to be,
To endure what derision.
:|  It's all in your mind.
   It's all your decision.  |:
If you think that you
Aren't up to this plan,
You do what you must
But not what you can.
Choose a course with the knowledge
of what you can be,
:|  And leave all the rest
   to the piloting Three.  |:
Most people aren't ready
For working alone,
So if you're one of those,
Choose a group of your own.
Help cooperation
Supplant competition.
:|  We'll all get there the sooner
   the less repetition.  |:
It's All in Your Mind (the cartoon)
A meditation on that tricky little entity you're using so poorly right now.
·Order the mini-comic in print — 8pg b&w, $1.00US includes postage from MINDFUL, Box 1215, Bartlesville OK 74005-1215 USA.
·Hear that MIDI again. ~24sec, ~2K

Performed in Mindful Webworkshop #11, 2016 Oct 21.

Best of Spirits

People Die

O! the inevitability of it all!

       Dm                   F
People die in the strangest places
       Dm                   F
People die in the strangest ways
       Dm                   F
People die in a hundred and fifty years
     Eb                Edim
Or a hundred and fifty days
       Dm                    F
People die when they least expect it
       Dm                         F
People die like they planned all along
       Dm                   F
People die for ideas they believe to be right
       Eb                    Edim
People die because they were wrong
       Bb                   F
People die in the strangest places
       Bb                   F
People die at the strangest times
       Bb                         F
People die 'cause they're totally innocent
       Eb                  Edim
People die 'cause of their crimes
       Eb                        F
People die when they're at their sharpest
       Eb                    F
People die when they're in a haze
       Eb                   F
People die in the strangest places
       Eb                   F
People die in the strangest ways

Best of Spirits


Wondering about the sense of wonder

Em           D
Every time I think about
   what I believe...
              Em  B
   I start to won-der...
    Em         D
How out of uni-ty
   Came all this multiplicity
                Em  B
:|   all rent a-sun-der... |:
From Infinite Eternity
   How Time and Space

   began to be,
How GOD Who is
   all that can be
          D     C        B
   Can be Us... right... now...
Em           D
Every time I think about
   what I believe...
                Em  B
:|   I start to won-der...  |:
"Wonders will never cease."
 —Sir Henry Bate Dudley
"Philosophy begins in wonder."
"The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder."
 —Albert Einstein

Performed in Mindful Webworkshop #2