Last night I had the opportunity to see James Taylor in concert at Tanglewood in Massachusetts. Needless to say, it was an absolutely fantastic concert. When James came out on stage I was first hit by the fact that like all of us he has aged. He is still a very slim man; clearly he has not had the experience of being on a hormone blockade. He has lost most of his hair, and so he looks like all of us. I guess that we all need to look into the mirror and reconcile the fact that we are that older man who is looking back at us.

When he sang “Never Die Young” the lyrics hit me hard. I have listened to them before, in my youth, but never the way I heard them last night.

We were ring-around-the-rosy children
They were circles around the sun
Never give up, never slow down
Never grow old, never ever die young

When I heard these words, it was like I had never heard them before. James was singing to me. They were very personal!

Later on in the concert he showed pictures from the 1970’s. The pictures included James with Joni Michelle and Carol King. He shared stories about them and I found myself remembering that long ago time period. I became acutely aware that these were great times in my life, times that I will never be able to recapture. They were truly very special experiences. It left me with great sadness and more then just one tear in my eye.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW