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June 30, 2001

good intentions

I'm sorry my self-pity has, of late, turned this space bitter.   By force of will (and a bit of luck), I have crawled out of a hole.   Here is what happened :

First, I received a letter from my foster-child, Ngor Sene, of Senegal.   Actually, it was written by Ngor's uncle, Diaga, who can read and write in French.   Ngor is about the 4th or 5th child I have raised.   I find that the poorly nourished make sympathetic listeners so I write to them with pen most poison and they always see things my way.   In addition, my foster children are quite obedient and you can imagine my satisfaction when I read these lines:   "Your Godchild is still attending school and he is not drinking alcohol as you want him not to."   In truth, my missionary zeal advocating temperance was unnecessary--Ngor is a devout Muslim and wouldn't drink anyway.   But I like being preachy sometimes and Ngor doesn't seem to mind.

I decided to relearn what little guitar I once knew so I got out my guitar and found inside the case some old lyrics I had written.   My favorite was "Hotel St. Barth Isle De France Blues (Good Intentions)."   It goes like this:

                               I had a retro-premonition
                               when i was liquor-brave.
                               I dreamed the streets were shiny-gold
                               but they're already paved
                               with good intentions, Lord
                               please tell me,
                               am i saved ?

                               You were a warning shot across my bow
                               and I took it on the chin.
                               I was welcome everywhere,
                               now no one lets me in.
                               All good intentions in the world
                               can't wash away my sins.

                               No lesson to be learned,
                               'til I am in the ground.
                               Six feet of darkness overhead,
                               borrowed shoes and rented shroud.
                               I pay the bill in good intentions
                               and make my daddy proud.

                               Never made it to the delta,
                               but I've breathed the mountain air.
                               Though I never saw a mountain,
                               my memories took me there.
                               Another place and time,
                               good intentions--my cross to bear. 

©  2001 by the beastmaster