How To Save A Life.
December 22, 2011
Well, well…..its been a while since I last sat down to write anything. Life flies by pretty fast these days and in a blink of an eye months & months seem to come and go. Another year older, one more inch on the waist, and a few new lines on my face. Time marches on.
A lot has happened in my life during the past year. Thanks to the work of some dedicated friends & co-workers we opened a recording studio in Brooklyn. There were multiple trips to NYC, visits to China, London, LA, Atlanta, Austin, Amherst, Portland, Tampa, Nashville, and seemingly every other city Delta flies to from Boston. It’s been the busiest year of my life. Along the way I became so busy that I actually lost a bit of myself, and I lost focus on what’s important to me. So focused was I on bringing a vision to life that I sometimes missed the simple, and important things in my life.
Tonight I was reminded. And, once again it was through the power of music.
My daughter Claire had her weekly guitar lesson and since I was in town, I jumped at the opportunity to take her. She’s been taking lessons for a few months and, although she dreads going every week, she really enjoys it. On the way to her lesson she plugs in her iPhone and takes over the music in the car. Inevitably she puts on some young rap star that I have never heard of and I endure the drive trying to fake it, acting as if I am cool enough to know the artist (its been well documented that I am NOT cool enough to know). She raps along, never missing a beat or a lyric. Admittedly I usually have no earthly idea what she is saying. My daughter Abby does the same thing, educating me on the likes of Justin Bieber (yep, he is still hanging around), Drake, and many others….
After Claire’s lesson she jumped into the car with a huge smile on her face. She immediately reached for the music and I dreaded what was about to come out of the speakers. She looked at me and said, “guess what song I am learning?”. Obviously I had no idea what to say at this point, in fear that she was going to tell me it was a T-Pain version of something by Coldplay. Much to my surprise (& delight) it wasn’t.
She played the song “Over My Head” by The Fray. Now, this isn’t my favorite song or band and when she started to play it I thought to myself, “well, thank God it isn’t Yellow”. As the song started to play she started to sing along, and so did i. (I have to admit, I really like the song but I didn’t realize that I actually knew the lyrics). As we drove down the same dark road where a year before we sang “Let It Be” together at the top of our lungs, we both just let go and sang. I looked over at her, smile on her face, spark in her eye, and my heart once again melted.
The song ended and then she hits the play button on “How To Save A Life”. Again, I wouldn’t say this is in my top 100 favorite songs of all time but as I sat there and listened to this little angel sing it I began to smile (and, OK….i also shed a few tears). The lyrics say, “where did I go wrong, I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness”. I thought about my year, my life, and wondered just how many friends I have lost along the way to my own bitterness. Probably more than I’d like to admit or face. I know that while I have made some new friends this past year, I have lost a few good ones along the way. As the song played on I thought about this for a few minutes. I was reminded that there are more important things in life than recording studios, advertising campaigns, and meetings. More important than that, I was reminded that I need to let go of the bitterness that is inside of me. I don’t know why it’s there or where it came from but in the coming year I am going to try to fight it and let it go somehow.
So, to my friends (you know who you are) who I have lost along the way, alone in the bitterness, I want to say that I am sorry.
It’s funny how a simple song, shared with a love one, can offer a moment of perspective and clarity.
Thanks Claire-bear. Thanks for singing the way you do, with so much joy in your voice. Thanks for reminding me what is important in this crazy life – my family, my friends, balance, and my life. Thanks for helping me save it.