“And When the Night is Cold and Dark”

“You can see, you can see light.” – Corey Hart

I’ve found myself pondering on Matthew 5:45 more than normal the past 12 months.

For those of you who haven’t memorized The Bible yet, it’s the scripture that (paraphrasing) says how God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and that He sends rain on both the righteous and unrighteous.

Basically, just because you’re a “good person” or call yourself a “Christian,” doesn’t mean you’ll be without your share of hardships or times of tribulation whether they be physical, mental, financially, emotionally, etc.

That’s logical right? You’re living on Fantasy Island (shout-out Ricardo Montalbon) if you think you’ll be able to avoid pain and suffering during our time on this rock. But let’s be honest, that verse, that thought, is much easier to quote when it doesn’t really affect you.

There’s still something in the deep recesses of the human psyche that says do good things and good things will be done to you, good karma begets good karma. But good deeds and good karma also end in cancer and divorce and mental illness and bankruptcy, and in global pandemics.

“With a little perseverance, you can get things done.”

There are numerous difficult times in our lives where we just need an encouraging word, a helping hand, a warm embrace. Even a nice email or text can make a difference. Heck, even a comment from a stranger on a random blog post can be a lift for those of us that pose as part-time writers like myself.

I think those people that say “I don’t care what people think of me,” are covering for some sort of insecurity. We need someone to notice us, or just give us some assurance that we are being seen or heard, or that we make a difference, and that this too shall pass. The difficult times and circumstances are different for everyone as we all struggle with grief, illness, self-doubt, and self-worth. They are often referred to as valleys, and those valleys can seem dark and endless. The thing about valleys though is that they give you an appreciation for the peaks.

My wife and I recently hiked a popular trail here in Arkansas called Whitaker Point Trail. It’s about three miles in and out, and not too strenuous. It leads you to a great photo op and a fantastic view within the Ozark Mountains called “Hawksbill Crag.” The Crag is a rock formation that juts out from the side of a bluff about 1,900 feet off of the ground.

Appreciation comes at the top – high above the valley below. And thank you random college girl for taking our photo and not running off with my iphone.

Obviously people have died there, and there are warning signs before you even begin the hike, though we were out there with many people who had children and pets (on leashes) along the trail. So the fact that you could plummet to your untimely death can definitely be in the back of your mind, particularly as you wind your way along the side of a bluff for some of the hike to this particular point.

There’s a path to this point. The path takes you from the parking area down through the trees and near some water and then winds you up and to the top. You look out and enjoy the view for a bit. You sit and think about the vastness of nature, and the greater power that created it, and how small we all really are. Small, but not insignificant.

Along the path you realize you’re not alone. There are others on the same path that know where they’re going. And there are others wandering and meandering in different directions for different views and just enjoying the trip. Time is just a minor inconvenience. And still there are others who are in a hurry with sands in the hourglass seemingly dictating their pace as they hurry from point A to point B, and then onto the next adventure, the next path.

Whatever path you’re currently on or whatever road you’re travelling, let this be a little reminder that there are those that have been there before you and those that will be following your path soon. Whatever you do, whether through rain or in sun, whether you’re at a peak or in a valley, just keep going.

“And if your path won’t lead you home, you can never surrender.”

When people think of Corey Hart, I would say “Sunglasses at Night” comes to mind for most simply because it was so popular and MTV played the wayfarers out of that video in 1984. Even though it was not his highest charting single in the U.S. (peaking only at #7), I think many casual listeners equate that as his most popular single. I saw Corey in Norman, Oklahoma when he opened for Rick Springfield on Rick’s “Hard to Hold Tour” in 1984, and of course “Sunglasses” was his only recognizable hit at that time for most of us there.

Truth is, in August of 1985, this single – “Never Surrender” peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Both weeks it was kept from moving up as Tears For Fears (“Shout”) and Huey Lewis and the News (“Power of Love”) took turns at #1 and #2 keeping Corey’s survival ballad out of the top two spots. In his native Canada though, this single spent four weeks at #1 and won the Juno Award as the single of the year. Props to you, Canada, because I think Corey was cheated out of a deserving #1 spot in the U.S.

His first single (and most successful) from his second studio album, “Boy in the Box,” here is Corey Hart and “Never Surrender”

As a bonus, Corey put together an updated, stripped-down 2020 version of the song, which I had hoped would end with him wearing a black leather jacket at the end of the video. Appreciate you Corey, but if you’re going to ditch the suit, the least you could do is don your circa mid-80’s black leather jacket. Regardless, it’s a nice sentiment in a tough time for many…

Thanks for reading, and thanks Corey for your gift of this song.

sincerely,

the 80’s

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