Magnolia

04:59
Andy Livingston
2011
Andy Livingston

Story

Last August I began noticing bruises all over my body with no apparent explanation. After a few weeks, I became a little concerned when a really deep bruise appeared on my arm. I went to the doctor, who drew my blood. Later that day he called me and told me to go to the emergency room, as my blood platelet count was dangerously low (it was 13,000, where it should be 120,000). When I asked him what had caused this he said, “It could be leukemia or other lymphoma, or it could be something more innocuous.” Right, but all I heard was leukemia. As I drove to the emergency room, I wondered if they were going to tell me I had six months to live, and I started to think about what I had done with the years of my life. Am I really living at all? I wondered. What have I done that I regret, and what have I learned? And what does all of that mean now? It turns out that I did have something relatively more innocuous (it’s an auto-immune/blood disorder called ITP where my immune system destroys my blood platelets), and for that I was grateful; however, it stuck with me that this was the first time I had come to realize that I am a mortal, temporary thing. Perhaps I may have eluded the Gardener this time, but none of us is fast enough to outrun Him forever. Eventually, my time, too, will come. Magnolia: a beautiful flower that blooms only to wilt. I don’t know that we are much different than she.

Lyrics

Magnolia your time has come
The time to offer up your best defense
Yesterday was the perfect day
But yesterday is done
Magnolia your time has come
 
Run, boy, you can run, but never run fast enough
to escape the skillful hand of the Gardener
your time too will come
 
Magnolia your time has come
The time to reconcile with providence
What have you done that you regret?
What lessons have you learned?
Magnolia your time has come
 
Pack your bags, get ready; now do you understand?
Promise me you’ll send me word when you make it there
 
Word still hasn’t come
It’s funny, now I realize that 
the best thing that I had is
slipping away
my silhouette
I’ll race you home, but
can we breathe together because it
still gets hard to breathe on my own
 
Magnolia your time has come

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