“give yourself a chance”

bob mavis

I have too many reasons to be satisfied.

That’s a funny thing to realize early on a Sunday morning…or maybe that’s the only thing to realize on a Sunday morning?

I’ve been on the other side of the equation…lonely and full of “angst”…full of drummed up discontent because somewhere I must have read that an artist feels all the pain or something.

I must have read that if you weren’t passionate about something (and, of course, passion equals pain) , that you were missing out on something really deep…and “deep” was what you were supposed to shoot for….if you thought you might want to be an artist.

And if I couldn’t figure out how to be a great artist, I could at least figure out how to feel sad….really sad…sad just a little short of cutting off an ear.

That’s kind of romantic.

What a crock.

That’s a young man’s game….that “grief as an activity”…that’s something that hopefully circumstance allows you to outgrow.

“Every day you’ve got to pray for guidance…every day you’ve got to give yourself a chance”

Gonna Change My Way of Thinking Bob Dylan Mavis Staples

I heard this song on the radio….on satellite radio…yesterday and it made me happy.

I guess that it’s from Dylan’s first gospel album….but this version is a new one with Mavis Staples.

I loved the part about catching the chicken…getting ready to eat some lunch.

That line “everyday you’ve got to give yourself a chance”…..

Man, I love that. Loooooove it. Love.

“Bad circumstances” or something blows a seed of grief into our lives…and then a “sad plant” grows in the middle of our driveway…and we notice it every day…trip over it….drive around it.

It irritates and infects and makes us realize that this “thing” is with us forever….and then we go out and water it everyday…and soon it’s the healthiest plant in our lives.

Before we know it, that little plant that’s grown so healthy… because of the attention we pay to it… has turned into a jungle.

We can’t even find the driveway anymore….can’t get the car down to the road….can’t go anywhere where the sun still shines through the leaves.

And that becomes our new norm.

“We live in a jungle” is what we tell ourselves…or maybe it’s something like “it’s the economy” or even “I never catch a break”.

I don’t really know how that works…things that I can’t figure out how to fix, I think about.  I think about stuff like that a lot.

Knowing the world is big shouldn’t ever be something that makes your own little corner feel small.

This life is not a contest…not really, at least. It’s a funny game…but maybe it’s not a contest.

So when I’m driving the mail around on a sunny day…and a song like this comes on the radio…and I can turn it way up without offending anyone…it makes me happy.

It makes me happy to know that sadness doesn’t have to be a permanent house guest in my brain.

Just because I open the door and invite sadness in for a while doesn’t mean that I can’t kick it to the curb when it outstays its welcome.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.


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