I’m Going to Graceland

Sunrise in my own back yard
Beautiful sunrise in my own back yard.

I’m going to Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I’m going to Graceland

Paul Simon, Graceland lyrics

In my high school and college years I was a huge Bob Dylan fan. Despite his gnarly voice I loved his poetic words and hobo way of singing. About ten years ago, Bob was coming to a local amphitheatre not far from my house. Paul Simon was coming too. I wasn’t a big fan of Paul’s but I thought what the heck, I’m going.

A profile of Dylan smiling, wearing a hat, coat, and scarves
Bob Dylan’s Desire album-  one of my favorites.

Paul played first and I was blown off my feet. He was fabulous. Bob came out afterwards, probably stoned, and his voice was worse than I ever remember. Paul and Bob sang a few duos; Paul saved the whole night in my eyes. Bob really didn’t need to come. This was the first and only time I ever saw Bob in concert.

My daughter bought me a cd of Paul Simon’s greatest hits a few years after that concert. I play it in my car and sing or listen while I’m driving. My favorite song? Graceland. I was singing it one day and realized the words.

I’m going to Graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
There’s some part of me wants to see Graceland
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there’s no obligations now
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

(Graceland, Paul Simon)

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Graceland as we all know is Elvis Presley’s house. I’ve never been there but I’ve heard it’s very nice. When I looked up the meaning of this song as written by Paul Simon, it didn’t say anything about a deity. It mentioned the breakup of his nine year marriage and the trip he took to Graceland with his son.

But look at the words again in that paragraph above. I think of heaven when I read and hear those lyrics. Graceland = Land of Grace= Heaven. Some part of me wants to see Graceland. I do. I’m going to be the big six- oh next year and I wonder sometimes how long I can keep it up. Life is tiring, expensive, and there are some not nice people here. There are also upsetting things, trial and tribulation things. For reasons I cannot explain, some part of me wants to see Graceland. Yes, I really do. I also miss my deceased loved ones- my dad, my yiayia, friends who have passed on.

I may be obliged to defend every love, every ending or maybe there’s no obligations now. Yes, I’m guessing I will asked to give an account of my life when I get to heaven. I hope God takes it easy on me but I’ll understand if He doesn’t. That’s His job. Maybe I’ll be let off the hook for some of my bigger transgressions. That would be nice. And no obligations. Wow, even more tempting.

Maybe I’ve a reason to believe we all will be received. No matter what, I feel loved, cherished and accepted. God is smitten with me and you, I am sure of it. What He sees in me sometimes, I don’t know. But clearly I am adored and I try and remember that every day. Hopefully despite my shortcomings, I will be given entrance.

Lest you think I am going anywhere fast, relax. I have no plans to do so (but recognize this is out of my hands). I am blessed and loved; I have endless thanks to give for my life and those in it. I hope I live for a while yet because I have a bunch of other plans. 😉

I’m thinking of taking a road trip to Memphis. Anyone want to meet me there or ride with me? Let me know….

Join me on my graceful journey.

10 Replies to “I’m Going to Graceland”

  1. That is pretty cool. I love your interpretation of that song! I would love to meet you in Memphis, unfortunately, unless my dad hit’s the lottery (he plays, I don’t…but he will share! ), I can’t see that happening…I am already stressing over school clothes and supplies (x’s 4!) for the upcoming school year. I need to start now!
    I know what you mean about not being quite ready to go ‘home’, but some days I wish I could ‘visit’ for a while!
    I hope you have a fabulous trip to Memphis

    1. Well, I don’t have concrete plans but I think it would make a nice road trip! I remember those days of preparing for school so I’m with you on the stress of all that. God bless and hope you receive a bit of a windfall to help out. 🙂

  2. Great post, Joanne. I thought it was going one way and instead it went another. Your story about Bob Dylan is so true about so many things. Things we think in memory are many times much more different in reality. Or maybe we are simply seeing with more mature ‘eyes’, more wisdom.

    When I read the words to the above verse, I , too, think of heaven. I’d like to suppose it was Paul’s intention there – a play on words with a twist meaning, and only those who have ‘ears to hear’ would understand it.

    Before reading your post I was spending some time with God and I asked Jesus what he would like me to know today. I have been distancing myself from the word “earn” – it is a nasty little word that has varying degrees of reward not necessarily in proportion with ones output. And today I opened my Good Book to see a note I had written years earlier. It stated the same. Jesus told us that it was God’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom, so I guess where I’m going with this in reference to your understandable notion of going to Graceland is that grace is here now – in this earth – ready for anyone who is ready and able to receive it. Of course it will be much grander in the real Graceland, but we have access to Its power here. Learning how to receive it is the harder part. The part we were never taught, but should give ourselves over to learning.

    I apologize for such a long comment. Great posts seem to inspire these………

    Blessings today in all you do,
    Marianne xoxo

    1. Marianne, thank you for your words! I love that you spend time with God and dislike the word “earn”. Me too! I want to focus on positive and good things and you are on the right path. God Bless you! xoxo

  3. Oh, Joanne, this post yanked me back in time. My former college roommate, a huge Bob Dylan fan, was treated to this same concert as a birthday gift from her two adult daughters, and her comments were the same as yours. Months later in her Christmas letter, she spent half of the page ranting against Dylan, and she concluded the Christmas letter with two of the same lines: “Maybe I’ve a reason to believe ~ We all will be received ~ In Graceland.”
    Well done, Joanne. I’ve sent her the link to your post. 😉

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone! I wonder how many other people were ticked about that concert. Oh well. I became a bigger Paul Simon fan because of it. Thank you Marylin, for passing along my link to your friend. 🙂

  4. Hey girlfriend…….it’s me………raising my hand!!!!! See? Over here? I will gladly do a road trip with you. It could be a blast!
    …………i loved your post today. It all was like an answer to a mystery.
    ” we all will all be received”

    I needed the gentle reminder, that I am adored and loved no matter how much I accomplish or create each day. I love the idea of just resting for a bit and truly believing we are enough.

    Thanks once again. Every single dang time I stop by, you somehow manage to bathe me in Grace and Goodness.

    You have a way about you ………that is just lovely.

    Thanks for being in my world.

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