"If Cats Walked On Water"
Hello, my friends.
I long for knowledge
Whisper in my ear
Undo my logic
Undo my fear
- Lucinda Williams
One of my favorite songwriters and recording artists is the lady quoted above, although her CD's almost invariably contain one or two songs that I can't play in the office.I'm afraid she's a little rough around the edges, a little too blunt, this "bad girl from
Lucinda Williams is about six months younger than me, which means she's no spring chicken.She's been around the track a few times, and it's obvious from her writing that she has the scars to prove it.In one sense, life seems to have hardened her, yet reading and listening to her lyrics somehow takes me to a place inside myself that I truly love to visit.It's a place that we all share.I might describe it as our "essence," that "common core" that is only goodness and light.
One of my mentors is Dr. Mark Sanna, a chiropractor and CEO of a consulting group that helps to guide me in both my professional and personal life (I pay big bucks for sound advice which I largely ignore).Tonight, I was reading a formula from Dr. Sanna that goes like this:
Stillness + Gratitude = Happiness in the Moment
Reading those words, I knew I'd want to remember them.I recognized their power immediately.I realized that the "Present Moment" is all any of us ever has, and a simple concept that consistently works to bring us back to our "center" in the face of an unpleasant, stressful or even catastrophic situation could be… well… invaluable.Like, huge.
But how does the feeling I get from Lucinda Williams' lyrics fit in with that formula?Somehow, it does.There's a certain stillness in her words, though it's the stillness in the eye of a storm.And there's a gratitude, too, but it's a gratitude in the midst of pain… of suffering… of injury and loneliness survived.
I have a zillion pictures of my children in all phases of their lives, but two in particular are probably my favorites - one of each child, taken on the same day by a professional photographer, though I can't tell or remember where or when.They're still quite small, and the quality I like about them is what I can only call the "clarity" in their eyes, the kind you only see in the very young and innocent.I've often thought to myself that when those pictures were taken, my kids hadn't been hurt yet.
Life's a struggle - no question about it.We succeed… and we fail.We climb… and we fall.And we get hurt.And gradually, we tend to lose that clarity that made my children's eyes shine so brightly in those early years.If we aren't careful, and vigilant, there's real danger of losing our vision altogether, and losing our way.I'll bet even Dr. Sanna, who seems to always have it together, has to fight his way out of the darkness from time to time.
I've always been a sincere seeker of knowledge and truth, wherever I could find it, but it strikes me as somewhat comical now, as I sit here and realize the diversity of my inspirations - Mark Sanna and Lucinda Williams, coming from and living in such different worlds, yet alike in their ability to look inside themselves and find something worth sharing with the rest of us.
Think about that.Two people, about as different as they could possibly be in so many ways, who are exactly the same at the deepest level of their existence, just as we all are.It makes me think of Lucinda's song, "What If," in which she describes a magical, silly world.The song is full of nonsensical lyrics, and it ends with one of the most ridiculous ideas of all:
If cats walked on water
And birds had bank accounts
And we loved one another
In equal amounts.
Wishing you health, happiness and peace,
Dr. Frank Bowling