The Bend Before The Break

"It's not you that lasts, it's how you change and learn to struggle."

Youth can be captured in the warm sunlight on your arm, extended out the driver side window of a white Chevy Econoline, in the sweet floral North Carolina summertime, as you drive to a public pool with newfound friends having slept on their farmhouse floor the previous night. A soundtrack of indie rock advance copy cassettes, provided from Gorman’s Newbury Comics hook up, playing over the dull hum of the motor that matched the malt liquor hangovers of half of us.

As we age decisions layer upon decisions, carving out a life for ourselves that has a complexity usually not grasped in our youth. Something that is beautiful can either be empowering or stifling depending on the day, your dopamine levels, and your willingness to embrace the savageness of existence.

But youth has a magic about it, the undetermined future of endless possibility like wandering in the dark. Sometimes the sly acknowledgment that experience is fleeting and wonderful, the realization that such moments will soon become memories upon which a life is built can allow you to look back on your first summer tour down the east coast, not with a wistful desire to relive it, but with a deep satisfaction of having lived it the one time.

These days are always "the days," but when played well our collective "memory lane" can illuminate the next adventure, so that you may not be lost, but instead hold a lantern to light the way.

~Joseph Grillo, NYC 2021

Photo By: Greg Mailloux