It’s I’m A Fan Fridays! again, my friends, and today we’re going neo-old school! I’ve decided to share some selected videos on Fridays for the next few weeks from all different genres of music that meet only one criterium: they have to make me happy.
Let me tell you: these two fellas can play! Both Chris Thile and Michael Daves have extensive careers apart from one another, but when they team up, something special happens. Enjoy!!
When I was 15, I went on a trip with the youth group from my local church. It was a pilgrimage we took every year during Spring Break to a big youth festival in Arkansas.
This particular year was my first time on this trip; it was meant for high school students only, and I was finally a freshman, filled with pride and excitement at the idea of a weeklong, parent-free trip on the old school bus.
Ah, the old school bus. It’s one of the things that made the trip so exciting to me. There was so much room to sprawl out, to lie down and nap anywhere you wanted.
I found the most comfortable place to sleep was on the floor, parallel with the seat and the back of the seat in front of me—right where your feet would go, if you were riding properly. It was quiet and away from most of the light during the day. And, it was pretty tight. I didn’t mind that; I thought it was cozy.
One day, however, I awakened to what I had discovered is perhaps my worst fear. I was lying on my side, and when I woke up from my nap, I found that I couldn’t move my body. It had “gone to sleep” the way your arm might if someone were leaning against it for too long.
Everyone else had gone into the rest stop, leaving me to continue my nap. I was alone. I called out, but nobody heard me. Finally, I was able to relax my mind enough to will myself to roll over. I was fine, just freaked out.
It was only temporary.
When you’re unemployed for a long stretch of time, you begin to wonder about your purpose. Do I have one? Am I needed? Is there anyone out there who needs what I can offer?
Trying to move forward can often times bring with it its own sense of paralysis—a feeling like you just can’t move.
I wonder why that is.
Do I feel paralyzed because I’m afraid of failure? Am I afraid of success? Those questions seem silly. Of course I’m afraid to fail…who isn’t? Maybe that’s obvious. But, afraid of success? What does that even mean?
Thinking about this lately, I wonder if it means that if I finally succeed at something I truly desire, something I’ve chased after for so long, I’ll also find that what I have desired all along will not be all I thought it would be? What happens then? What happens when the dog finally catches the car?
Each moment is here and then it is gone.
Everything is temporary.
Moments turn into days, days to months, and months to years. So, I ask myself, are you breathing in this moment right now? Are you loving as fully in this span of time as you can love?
Making the most of every moment seems very cliché in some ways; there are volumes of books about the idea. But, there’s something profound in taking the time to ponder a moment and all of the gratitude that can be found in it.
Lying on the floor of that bus so long ago, I was scared of the thought of being paralyzed, but I was also amazingly grateful in the knowledge that it was only temporary.
“Time takes time.” That’s what I thought I heard her say. “Time takes time.” What the hell kind of cliché BS are you spewing here, lady?
Then it hit me, pretty much all at once, right between the eyes. Hang on a second. This actually might make some sense.
For quite some time now, people have been saying to me: You need to be patient. Healing takes time. What you need is some time. In time things will be different.
That’s all well and good, I thought, but I need that time to happen quickly and in the frame I decide. After all, I’ve got stuff to do; I’ve got a life to live!
Something I’m beginning to realize, and powerfully too, is that any chance and hope I have of recovery and staying alive has everything to do with how I serve other people. Every morning I have to pray to God to continue to restore me to sanity and help me find someone I can help. I think maybe if I can do that, keep an eye out for someone I can help, my insane desire for everything to happen in my unrealistic time frame just might dial itself down a bit.
The woman said, “I have 26 years sober, and I have a daughter who still won’t talk to me. She just can’t forgive me. Yet. I pray for her. It’s all I can do. I pray for her that she can lay down the pain that is keeping her so bitter and angry. I love her, and I pray every day that we will be reconciled in time. But, time takes time.”
I’m back; not with a loud bang but with a bit of a whimper. The year 2014 was the worst year of my life. There are so many reasons why; we’ll get to some in time.
Today is a good day. Part of the reason it’s a good day is that I’m determined to live in this day and only this day. I’ll leave tomorrow to itself. I can only handle this one. I’ve come to realize, kicking and screaming and not all at once, that I’m an alcoholic and an abuser of prescription drugs. It’s a nasty combination which almost, on a couple of occasions, landed me in a real-life version of an opening scene from the HBO series Six Feet Under.
I’ll write more about my journey as days go by, but that’s not all I’ll write about. I’m determined to keep at this blog; I think I really need it. And if I write something out of my own experiences that moves you or someone you know to live a better, more joyous life, then it will be worth it. I know that, for me, cathartic experiences can truly come from anywhere, carried by anyone, at any time and in any place.
Here’s a monologue from a movie that was “made for me to see.” I truly think God knew that I would not truly get what I was doing to myself, my family and my friends until I saw this film. The thing is, none of that truly hit me until the THIRD TIME I watched it.
Yeah. I sat through this film three times before I understood how much like Denzel Washington’s character I actually was. I’m not black and I’m not a pilot. That’s about the extent of our differences. But, like him, I couldn’t see it until I saw it.
This monologue, so beautifully done by the great Denzel, is where I got to on February 3, 2015. The day before my 46th birthday this past week, it was as if I had reached my life-long limit of lies. I thought I had gotten there before, but I was wrong. My rock bottom, as it turned out, had a trap door. I have a long, long way to go and a lot of amends to make, but I’m ok. I’m scared as hell, but I’m ok.
I didn’t drink today, and I took only the medicine prescribed to me as directed. I’m alive now, and if I’m blessed with the opportunity to wake tomorrow morning, I’ll pray to God to continue to do for me what I cannot do for myself.