I’ve been too busy the past couple of weeks to catch the Listening Post train, but caught the caboose this week.
In reading Rush drummer Neil Peart’s Ghost Rider, I’ve developed a new respect for this song, so often overlooked and dismissed by fans as one of the lesser Vapor Trails offerings. Here, as in the book, we get a more humble, simpler Peart, a man facing a change in his life and opting to, for once, simply surrender instead of struggle.
Peart, having lost both his wife and his daughter in the span of a year’s time, was a man who desperately needed to let go of his past, and this song is more than just a simple ode to the struggles we all face with the difference between what we plan and how things turn out. It’s about turning the corner from spending every day dragging the past behind you as a weight, to making the past a part of your life and letting it help carry you forward. â€œHow It Isâ€ might not be one of Rush’s more popular songs, but it’s one of Peart’s more heartfelt lyrics.