Time seems to be standing still...time to reflect.
I had another political column published in the Asheville paper. I feel good about it. Any time my work, potentially, can have some impact, I feel good about it. They don't pay me for these columns, but so what? I am used to not being paid. When I play out at the Ugly Mug I am not paid, but it's an opportunity to share my music and lyrics with others, mostly other artists, but that's fine.
I don't write and make music only for myself.
Then, there is blogging here, also unpaid, but gratifying, because here I can share poetry and prose with others, gain their feedback, read their work and offer comments. The interaction, the dialogue of writers is invaluable.
No pay. I'm used to this.
If I gain a publisher for my poetry and prose books, or sell some of my songs, then great. But these goals are not what keeps me going as a writer or singer-songwriter...
I discovered a great song by Tom Petty, "Wildflowers." Others may have known this song for a long time. It is new to me, and I know I will play it over and over, because the music and lyrics are fantastic. I also discovered a great book at a yard sale today: Beyond Basketball, by Coach K, coach of the Duke University basketball team. He has great insight into ways to motivate others, but more importantly, how to live a meaningful life.
I have been trying to help a family member with a particular issue and finally she is taking some significant steps forward. Of course, she had to make up her own mind about this, not just take my word for it. I feel good that perhaps my words to her may have had some positive effect.
You can't force change on anyone. Even on yourself. You have to arrive at a point of readiness. That's what I believe. It is step-by-step progression toward a breakthrough. No significant change comes easy. Yes, it takes work. And patience. But I believe it is important to yield results along the way. If we don't see some light at the end of the tunnel, it's hard to keep going, "Keep the faith," as Bon Jovi puts it. For Coach K., the key word is "hope." Convince someone that you believe in them, and you have instilled hope.