The answers are questions.
We can choose to drink whatever life puts into our glass. What I mean by that is when life brings challenges, we human beings need ways to face them. While people must find their own way through these times, we all seem to search for some combination of safety and strength. If we're lucky these will come together. More often, my experience says they arrive
Drink in the silence.
Years ago, I was in such a struggle. Since I did not have a sense of strength, I chose the illusion of safety through real or emotional hiding out. Over time, those coping mechanisms incrementally collapsed. They weren't working.
The only thing that was working was music, especially songwriting and singing. Ironically, very few of the songs from this part of my life continue to hold meaning or power for me now. The rare exception is this seventh song release.
While my conscious mind was coming up with very little that was helpful, my subconscious thoughts were busy giving me clues. As you can imagine, my dream life was incredibly rich. The images ranged from comforting to enlightening. Still, I'm a tenacious and sometimes thick-headed man. Apparently, I wasn't getting it. So, one Winter night, I woke sweating and remembering a vivid dream.
The images were of a man with a grey beard insisting that he had the best advice for me. However, he kept slipping back into saying, “I am just what I am.”
Drink in the tears.
Initially, the dream seemed puzzling and strident. Certainly the greybeard was pushy and insistent with his advice. Plus, I kept seeing his face in my mind's eye. (Even now, that image is vivid and easily accessible.)
At first, it was ominous. Yet, over the following months, I was able to integrate the man's advice:
- You are you. Be yourself.
- You have no experience with the kind of change you need right now. Begin anyway.
- Believe in yourself, otherwise you have no starting point.
- If a sense of emptiness is all you have, explore the possibilities this opens up for you.
Nothing can quench your joy and fears.
I did not write about this dream in my journal as was my practice in those days. Instead, immediately when I woke up, I wrote this song. Today, it holds promise for me again in the new challenges facing me. I drink in reality, but I do not give in to what life gives me unless it's what I'm looking for.
I hope you can find your own connections with this song. As you can hear in these two vastly varied versions, it has more than one mood and message. Close your eyes and listen…