To Belong To Ya

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Some of you know that if you pinned me down to what my favorite band is, I would have slapped with you with a fish and be insulted that you had to ask.  I love the band The Decemberists.  It’s a indy-ish, hipster-centric, Porlandia-symbolic, band known for their songs inspired by folklore, peasant overthrows of royalty, getting swallowed by a whale, and in one song the lead singer calls “the worst song ever written” Dracula’s Daughter (If you think you had it bad, trying having Dracula for a dad … see how that looks on you).  This year they released a new album, and they started off the album with a song that had an interesting spin.  Think about a time when you loved a band, and they put out a new album that just didn’t meet your expectations – of course you didn’t expect a ‘greatest hits’ but that what was different wasn’t what you were expecting.  The Decemerists took that concept and met it head on.  The song called “The Singer Addresses His Audience” starts with these lines:

We know, we know, we belong to ya
We know you built your life around us
And would we change, we had to change some

We know, we know, we belong to ya
We know you threw your arms around us
In the hopes we wouldn’t change
But we had to change some
You know, to belong to you

From there they continue on to address things like apologizing for turning the song you use at your wedding into a shampoo commercial, and understanding that your haircut match’s the drummer’s even though the drummer had to move on with a new do.

What stands out is that this band says to it’s fan — you wanted more, you wanted more, but to give you more we had to change.  Not that they didn’t get that we didn’t want them to change, but wanting them is to want the change as well.

So there in lies the rub.  You hope nothing changes, but what you want not to change is that changes happen.

All of this comes down to a vague, misleading, and probably unnecessary eyebrow raising blog post from summary based on this song in an effort to just write down concepts that are going through my head.  Friendships, relationships, and family are all based on the principle this song puts forward — we belong to each other.  To belong to each other, we hope we wouldn’t change, but we have to change sometimes.  In our own ways, we clamor for our next best thing, or next victory, our next way of living, our next paycheck – yet we do so hoping that it doesn’t effect those relationships around us.  Yet we can’t ignore that they do, we can’t ignore that change can hurt as much as it can help.  Yet for those of us that change often, change repeatedly, or change when it is needed – we have to ensure that you know that it is part of belonging to us that comes with that change.

What I am saying is – there are friends that changes are happening to, and whether you think you are those people or not know that I accept those changes in part because I know it is part of belonging to your friendship.  Also, I am never going to stop changing as long as I live – and for those of you who know me, who belong to me, I have to change some … You know .. To Belong to you.

Vague enough for you?  (And before you start guessing … no it’s not what you think)

Thankfulness

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There’s a book I want to read … probably more like need to read.  It’s called “The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible” by A.J. Jacobs.  I have seen it around, and thought to myself “Hey look at that – it’s another atheist trying to belittle someone just to justify a superiority complex”  (see all Bill Maher).   Not that I am a zealot or bible thumper on my own, but I come from the stock of thinking that what you believe in is what you believe in – who am I or anyone else to judge.  Yet last night I heard an interview with the author that goes into more detail of what led him to write it, and what he got from the experience.  While he touched on some of the more odd parts of the book (like when he got to stone an adulterer) he was able to explain key parts of the process that were fundamentally good for all of us.

One thing he mentioned was the biblical requirement to ‘Be Thankful’.  The way he described it, the literally interpretation he took with that was to be thankful for everything.  By everything, he mentioned, that meant everything.  Say for instance you walk into a tall building – when you press the elevator button, you are thankful for the light to turn on to tell you the elevator is on the way.  Then the door opens, you are thankful for that. Push the floor button, once again, thankful for the light to come on.  Thankful for arriving on your floor.  Thankful for making it to you meeting.  Thankful you have a bottle of water handed to you.

What this author said was the experience made him more thankful — which is like … DUH … but there is a point here.  It’s easy to get wrapped up on the things we hate, the things that bother us.  Yet what he was saying is that being thankful for everything made him recognize the good that comes from everything, and recognition is the first step to appreciation.  And Appreciation is an early step towards love.

The whole of the concept reminded me of the 100 Happy Days effort I made last year around this time, and made me wonder if I wanted to take a wack at it.  That was something thru Facebook where everyday I took a photo or wrote about something that made me happy that day.  While I wouldn’t mind doing that process a second time – I have this fear that came out of last year (where those ‘100 happy days’ were a run of very very unhappy days like I had never seen in my life) that I could be seeing bad times ahead.

What I just want is to recognize what I need to be thankful for.  I want to see the world through the eyes of someone with a more positive outlook.  I want Thankfulness to be a core thing of what I do, not the one that sees the potential black poison awaiting me at every step.

Things need to start changing in my life for me to me to be happier, but there are a lot of things that I can’t change.  The thing is, I want to be happy about those things.  When I see something — I want to be thankful for it, recognize it for what it means, appreciate what it was … and Love what it is.

And it all starts with Thanks.

For Serious …

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Yes, I need to blog more.  Yes, there are reasons I don’t.  Well, here’s a way to break that rut.

Inspiration!

From Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded”

I saw that being posted by the actress Sarah Michelle Geller this week in remembrance of Robin Williams.  On the days I search for meaning in my world, and on the times I choose to do what I do, I come back to a fundamental concept:

We are all put on this planet to leave it better because we existed.

Yet it took that paragraph from Mr. Emerson to bring the detail the concept requires.

So that is my focus this week – not to expect anything to end, but to ensure that if it does that I met Mr. Emerson’s definition of success.