This is 38.

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.