Monday, February 2, 2015
Day 25 - Giving Up
I used to build beautiful furniture and cabinetry - high dollar stuff. I loved the artistry of a beautiful piece of wood turned into a realized vision. The market just got tighter and tighter. I couldn't compete with cheaper and cheaper goods and labor from China and Mexico. Those are contributing factors but the noose around my neck, at all times, was that I wasn't a very good businessman - to whit: I sucked.
Money never meant the same thing to me that it seems to mean to every one else. I like a lot of the things I can do with it, like anyone else - but it "can't buy me Love" and it's not warm in my hands. The acquisition of large piles of it never seemed as important to me as being happy and acquiring a mountain of love - a wealth of experiences All kinds of wonderful love from all sorts of wonderful people.
Out of the ashes of my last "day gig", I picked up my Stratocaster and made the best decision I had made in years. I decided that: albeit that guitar was the only arrow in my quiver -- my angels had never abandoned me before -- it was the only arrow I would need.
People clap for me now when I show up for work. They smile and dance. They give me food and drink. They pay me well, and then they tip me on top of that. Then they buy my CD's and go out of their way, over and over, to give me what I need. That's what I get from playing music. It never happened to me behind a table saw.
I need money like everyone else to survive. I wish the pursuit of it didn't take so much of our time. I wish I had enough to give it all away. There's not enough cash on the planet to forgive my sins, or to buy back 10 minutes with my sons and my daughter when they were kids. To wipe out heartache or bring back the people I wish were still here. No one can ever buy the heart of one more fool with a gun intent on doing harm, buy the greed out of the hearts of politicians and CEOs, or buy back the minds and lives and limbs of a bunch of American soldiers.
There will never be enough cash in the world to buy the beautiful bubbling giggles that came from a 3 year old little girl, while she danced in big auburn-curled twirls, right in front of me while I played Friday night.
Money has never come and got me in the middle of the night when my car broke down. Money never calls me up just because. It didn't hold my hand while I watched cancer take my mother.
And there's never going to be enough of it here to fill the thirst that it's pursuit put's into the hearts of good and decent people.. I was fed up with being thirsty. I had held large sums of it for fleeting moments, and never seemed to have a nickel in the end. I had cried my eyes out and beat my fists in rage in sheer frustration and disappointment, over money, too many times.
Nothing worth anything in this world is ever easy, but playing music for my sustenance, aside from being a parent, is the greatest priveledge that heaven has ever bestowed on me. Since the decision to give my heart and soul to music, I have lived in a perpetual state of kindness and grace. Delivered at each performance, from all these wonderfully warm smiling faces that I've had the pleasure of sitting in front of in the years since.
Money always comes and goes - the friends that I've made behind that old guitar will be with me till the day I die. I haven't starved behind my old guitar - quite the contrary. I've had enough and more. That's as good as it gets. - as good as I can ask for - better than any fool deserves.
"don't take any wooden nickels"