SO much good is afloat. So much for which to nod our heads humbly and be grateful.

According to something written down somewhere gratitude is one of the highest forms of passion, for the person that lives from a grateful standpoint is one without limits and limiting factors. I think I read that on a bathroom wall once.

So when the call comes for a promotion to a Ladder Truck Company, it is best to accept it with gratitude. When your youngest says he’d like to spend his birthday just hanging out with you drinking coffee, eating cookies and reading books at a store, it is the right thing to be grateful that he even wants to be in your company at all. Bills are almost paid, your co-parenting game is on point, and finally nailing that lick on your guitar on the front porch are all reasons, indeed, to let a soothing shower of grace wash over you briefly, shuddering at your good fortune after a long, lonely winter in your own mind. To quote one of my favorites, “It feels so good/feelin’ good again.”

And it does.

But when asked, in private and quietly, to trust with your heart, to trust in absence and to be trustworthy yourself, in the dark corners of your mind a jukebox fires up and the ghosts and demons emerge from the shadows to begin a dance designed to bury your soul in doubt. The human ego is a puppet-master with whom our rational, loving minds wrestle wordlessly and endlessly.

While you are gone, I will grapple with our pasts. I will stare at my guitar and try to will a creative mind to exercise fruitfully on a musical playground rather than to stare into the mirror and make sense of past times. To love is to trust, and to trust those whom we love unconditionally is a thing of intrinsic beauty. It’s easy to love our children beyond their own human stumblings across bad decisions and sullen contempt hurled our way, as is befitting a pre-teen. But to place our heart, our trust, our vulnerability into the hands of another is a tall order among tall orders. Is it any wonder that the most creative songwriters and poets and artists and writers are those men & women who’ve suffered such a loss of trust? And that the only way for them to make sense of their world is to pour it out onto the page? Nah….it’s no wonder at all. Not in the least.

But I don’t want to be another jaded soul, dumping on hope and content to be discontent and alone in this world. Heartbreak is a fantastic fuel for the creative mind, but it takes such a toll. The price becomes so high that the choice ends up being between going mad or re-wiring the brain to come from a place that is grateful for each small beautiful thing in this world. And it IS a choice. It is a choice to shut the door on the dance of the dead in your mind and to focus on appreciating the tiny triumphs occurring all around us. It is a choice to put the ego on the shelf and just be grateful, for fuck’s sake.

So, go West. Travel far, and explore new lands, savoring the taste of adventure and family and times that can’t be bought or viewed on YouTube. Go far and wide and take in all that you can. Trust that I am here, fist-fighting my own devils in my mind, unplugging the jukebox that plays a song from the past, one that triggers a heart that can be less than grateful. Trust that while you roam the vast expanses of this great land, I am roaming the vast expanses of my own mind, in search of an ego to kick to the curb and a grateful heart to guide my own ship.

Be gone, ghosts. It’s time for a song to which you don’t know the dance. It’s time to let love in the door and trust to be built. It’s time for two people who’s timing has finally come into sync with the universe. It’s time to live gratefully and, when possible, gracefully.

Come home soon. Our song is playing.

Moving Mountains

Moving Mountains