Tag Archives: music

Biting your own neck

LittleLionMancolorI’ve been on a Mumford & Sons kick as of late. I’m a bit of a vinyl geek and have worn out their freshman album, “Sigh No More”. I ordered “Babel” from Amazon and it’s currently sitting in my mailbox to be claimed after work but I’ve been listening to the “AutoRip” since I bought it. (Amazon is great like that if you buy vinyl from them).

One of the most well known songs on “Sign No More” is “Little Lion Man” which (in my opinion) tells the story of a bold man falling and realizes he isn’t all he believes himself to be.

I’ve listened to this song countless times and one line has always stood out:

“Now learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck.”

As a man raised almost exclusively by a woman, this has always hit home with me. To me this statement has always meant that one should learn from their elders while they can or spend the rest of their lives running in circles lost for knowledge. The guys over at rock genius.com tend to agree:

“As we know, a mother lion will carry her cub by the neck when he is young. If you don’t learn from your mother, you will be forever doomed to think of yourself as a child and even act like one.” – rockgenius.com

I learned a lot from my mother growing up but I didn’t actually know I had learned anything until I was much older. This is a common cycle I’m certain and one repeated through the ages. I had dinner with my mother last night which is always a good time. I really do not see her often enough and as I mentioned in a previous post I’ve come to terms with the fact that she is not going to outlive me. For a couple months now I’ve been coming up with a bucket list of items I’d like to ask her, do with her, etc. Some of them include:

  • Sit down with her and let her tell her story from childhood, to teens, to meeting my dad and after he passed, etc. I was there for some of it but I know there are stories I haven’t heard.
  • Travel to Chicago with her to visit her friends from youth and listen to their stories.
  • Travel out of this country with her. She’s left the US once that I know of, on her honeymoon.
  • Do several photo shoots of her in studio, out of studio, I don’t care.
  • Watch her adore my soon to be niece and her soon to be grand-daughter.
  • Have her watch me get the tattoo I have planned in her honor.
  • Take her for a night on the town to a jazz or blues club.
  • Have her cheer for me at my first half and full marathon.

There are more and some of these are extremely possible. Others are whimsical desires that her health may make impossible at some point. My mother is still strong and I get much of both my physical and mental strength from her but she isn’t the thirty-something I vividly remember twisting her ankle while jumping to spike a volleyball at a block party.

There is another song that sometimes comes to mind when I have to tell her “I’m too busy”; “Cats in the Cradle”. The difference is, my mother always DID have time for my sister and I. Even after my father passed and she had to work full time, she always made time. I have let my career and other selfish desires get in the way of spending time with the woman who gave me life. Part of this was my refusal to believe she wasn’t immortal. This must change.