This is 38. It's been an... interesting... 37th year. I must say though that I am deeply content and grateful for my life.
Here are my truths today:
-- There are no substitutes for full love and unexpectant generosity. They are the path to happiness. They are the meaning of happiness in and of themselves.
-- Music is my true and only religion. It is how I speak with God. It's also how God schools me.
-- One is not ever "in control" and the more one thinks one is, the less they actually are.
-- Hatred cannot drive out hatred. Only love can do that.
-- There are only two choices in everything: LOVE... or fear.
-- The words "deserve" and "should" are the worst ones in the English language.
-- You can never change another person no matter what you say or do, how you push, cajole, or manipulate or inspire.
-- Forgiveness is for the Forgiver, not the forgiven. Broadly speaking, although some people have said and done egregious things to me, I know in my body, my heart, and my mind, that I am not carrying those burdens.
-- Nothing will EVER completely go the way it is planned - because (back to No. 3) You are not in control.
-- There will always be darkness, but there will also always be light. There will always be night, but also always morning and day.
-- Fame, power, and broad influence won't mean anything to me when I move on from this life.
-- Everyone poops and pees.
-- Humans are incredible creatures full of possibilities. but we are not alone and not the only incredible creatures on Earth.
-- I have my freedom in this country where I live. Many people do not have that.
I want to share a poem which I have been chipping away at setting into an art song. It may seem morose or even frightening at first, but upon subsequent glances, it's clearly about the joy in life - no matter what comes. It's about Lot, a Patriarch from the Old Testament who lived a complicated life (that's putting it nicely). The poem is by a brilliant writer, Cooley Windsor who I met years ago in California.
LOT IS SAVED
I lie each night dying in my bed --
how I pine for cliffs of pure white salt
and wish I had looked back too.
It would have been better than all these years
wondering what it looked like --
the most exciting time in my life
and I didn't see a thing.
Remember that, when you hear about safety.
When your hands are over your head
and it's the fire drill
calculate how far you'll have to run
to escape burning.
If I lived in a burning city now
I would sing songs
and turn myself upside down
so the flame's blue base
would be my shining sky.
In that dazzling world
I would be happy
even though my eyes boiled.
And I'd wave at people outside the city limit
who call, "Doesn't it hurt? doesn't it burn?"
I would bob like an apple
on the surface of the blaze
and clap the torches my hands became
and wink my blind eyes -
Of course it burns. It's fire.