I don’t generally do traditional resolutions. Although I’m still searching for that elusive cure to cancer and I’d like to lose the flat-tire around my waist, I try to come up with a phrase or saying that I can recall that will sort of be a point of reference. One year for example I took the words from the Grinch “and his heart grew four times it’s size that day”. The idea being that I wanted to show more heart to others in whatever I was doing and I wanted to take a year to grow my heart.
On my way out to New York for the gig I grabbed some of my notebooks that I keep on the piano in the studio. In these books are lots of song fragments, pages and pages of my attempts at lyrics, random thoughts, etc. I opened one of these up on the plane and noticed it was an old one from like 1998. On one page I had written a few lines that I thought might make some good lyrics, in the middle of the page, separated from everything else was this line:
“I saw a cloud and thought it was the sky”
I remember vaguely what I was getting at which was that it’s easy to mistake the clouds in life for the sky. On an overcast day like today for example, all you see when you look up is clouds, but behind these is indeed the sky. This turned into my contemplation over two days. On Friday we were in the park and it was very warm. We laid down on one of those huge rocks to look at the clouds and play the cloud game. I noticed that on that day there were two layers of clouds a very high layer and below it smaller, puffy clouds. Chloe began calling out what she saw “a boat”, “a dog” and I remembered a time when she was about three and we were doing this in Florida. She saw a seahorse and pointed it out to me. But the wind eventually blew the cloud apart and the seahorse was gone. Baby Chloe actually cried.
I thought about clouds, they’re really just a vapor; birds and planes pass right through them. If you were falling, they couldn’t support you for a second. I thought about the way people use the word “clouded” – “It clouded my judgment”, etc. The clouds separated while we lay there and I saw the blue sky beyond. Beautiful blue, never quite the same color but always there. Color psychologists tell us that blue is the color of loyalty and is the most favored color by both men and women alike; and I now think this is why. The sky is a constant, regardless of what cloud may float by it’s always there. We may not see it for a while, but it’s there. Then I thought about one of my favorite feelings, which is flying above the clouds. The clouds are below and the sunny sky is above. I thought about the utility of clouds, how they bring rain, which in turn causes growth. I thought about laying in the sunshine in Florida getting hotter and hotter and the relief I feel when a cloud came by and how great it felt when it moved on leaving us in the sun again.
So that’s it for 2005 “don’t mistake the clouds for the sky”.
Don’t let some clouds deter you from seeing beyond them or at least having the faith to know that the sky is beyond them when you can’t see it. It surprising how outwardly focusing ultimately is so healing to your self.