Trying to Help
We all go through various life stages. As we age, things that were once important lose much of their significance. And we also notice things that previously we were oblivious to.
I think we live in a world of gradients. There seem to be givers and takers, but there are all kinds of varieties and shades in between the two extremes. This present obsession with either/or is a relatively new event and owes a lot to the administration, the war, and the prevalence of neo-conservative values in this country.
I'm a conservative in many ways, and in others, I'm as liberal as can be. I think I'm stuck in old ways, sometimes, but I'm unstuck enough to know that the world isn't just made up of simplistic binaries like good and evil, black and white, or day and night.
There's dawn and dusk and lots of pretty sunrises and sunsets, with everything in between.
Cloudy days, clear days, rainy days, hot days, and cool days.
I know, too, that some things that worked before just won't work anymore. It's hard, as we age, to change, but it's imperative. For me, a world without Music is unimaginable, but the way in which I present it, package it, and even play it is changing and becoming something new. It's still uncomfortable to a degree, and that's normal.
I think that the single biggest change in me and my approach to Music is the burning desire to see and experience and elevate the positive and life-affirming results of my work.
It's one thing, an easy thing, to hear my friends tell me how much my work has changed their lives or inspired them or gotten them through rough times, but it's somehow not enough for me.
This is the emptiness I feel lately, this need to KNOW what my mission is, and to LEARN how to instigate change with my Music in a new world that I know very little about.
Watching Angelina Jolie or Ann Curry or Oprah talk about the work they're doing to save and improve the lives of children, I feel empowered by the strength and spiritual beauty of these women. They're true role-models for me and for millions of women around the world.
I also know that I am looking at women with millions of dollars at their disposal.
Me, I remain a thousandaire.
Not too impressive... and so I must find ways to do similar work with what I DO have.
In the years ahead, I hope I keep my health together and my head together enough to make a bit more of a positive impact than I've had so far. It's just a dream of mine. In a world of hard, sometimes brutal realities, the naked desire to "make everything better" is nothing new, and really very common to women - and men too - whose desire and drive is to nurture and heal.
And we have to do this soon. Now. We're not given a lot of time. I find that my life just races by, and, though I'm impressively prolific and productive and have an incredible "work ethic" in my chosen field, it's going to take some doing to understand the next step in my work here on earth.
I write about this now because my words on a page sometimes come back to me later, as reminders of hopes and dreams and visions that I still have of what needs to be done.
I don't believe that we're powerless cogs in a wheel, and I don't buy that we're incapable of changing our world. I think that's the lazy way out, and sometimes it reflects fear. To act takes a degree of recklessness. But to NOT act is far worse.
Sometimes, doing the wrong thing is better than doing nothing at all!
I can't give my plans a full form yet, because I still don't have a clear picture of where I fit in all of this. I know that civil liberties are of vast importance to me, but I also know that activism leaves me cold. My form of activism is playing the piano for people, playing the spiritual music of peace and love. That's not nothing. It's just not everything.
There are a million things to do to make the world better. I'll find that one thing. If I can do just a little more than what I'm doing now, it'll be good for me AND our world.
As I have grown older, the sense of selfish regard and absolute determination to achieve "success" for myself has diminished and drifted away. I no longer desire to succeed on other people's terms and according to other people's value systems. It seems silly that I ever wanted that. Now, I just want peace, not just for me, but for all of us.
The competition that drives our free-market capitalism is an endless loop to me, a snake that eats its tail. Not a bad thing in its way, but not always a good thing for everyone. Money is good but it's not God, and success, measured by money and power, is empty and meaningless to some of us.
When I was young, growing up, I had dreams every minute of the day.
We were going to feed the billions of hungry people.
We were going to wipe out cancer and malaria and typhoid and tuberculosis.
We were going to eradicate poverty.
We were going to have colonies on Mars and Triton and Venus and our Moon.
When I was that young, the Twenty-First Century was a million years in the future.
Now, that future is our present, and none of these things have been done. So it's late, but it's time to get started.
We all need something. We all need food, and not just for our bellies. We need HOPE. The only way we'll get that is if we generate it within ourselves. We can no longer look outside for our inspiration. There's too much out there to depress us, and getting depressed stops us.
We need to get back to the garden, and we need to represent the good, work for the good, fight for the good. I'll be looking for my new mission while still and always pursuing my "old" one. The needs are great and the stakes are enormous.
With entropy looming and with so many tears, so much raw need around me, there are a million things to do. I'm sure I'll find one that I'm good at, one that allows mere thousandaires to participate in!