It doesn’t happen very often, but walking yesterday, I felt kind of overwhelmed by thinking of all the sadness in the world. Experience tells me part of it has to do with an over-abundance of screen time. It does something to my brain.
Anyway, on the hour drive to Cincinnati to have dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend last night (a reason to be happy and grateful in and of itself!), some lyrics from the music we were listening to caught my attention. And so I started to open my mind to what the universe has to tell me.
Between yesterday evening and the end of my yoga practice this morning, here are a couple of things the universe had to tell me, speaking through my favorite poet-philosophers Jagger and Richards, Dylan and Carlin.
The first two lines are from the Rolling Stones’ “Sweet Virginia.” I can’t find if Jagger and Richards are actually the writers of this song, but they are, at the very least, the messengers.
“Thank you for your wine, California. Thank your for your sweet and bitter fruits.”
This was the first line that caught my attention. It’s been one of my favorite lines for awhile, but I guess I needed to reminded of it. It just speaks of gratitude to me. First of all, I am grateful, literally, to California and the amazing trip I took there last summer. Second, I think it’s important to be grateful for what you get in this life, both the sweet and the bitter. I know the bitter can be really bitter, and being grateful for it is really hard to do. But it makes us who we are. It also speaks to me of non-attachment, which, as a yogi, I believe is a good attitude to cultivate. Being overly attached to the sweet in life brings misery.
“You’ve got to scrape that shit right off your shoe.”
This one’s fairly self-explanatory, even in a metaphorical sense. Don’t let shit weigh you down. Process it and move forward.
“And is our purpose not the same on this earth? To love and follow His direction?”~Bob Dylan
I had determined beforehand to dedicate my practice this morning to developing my understanding of love and this line was the only thing the universe sent me in those regards.
“You’e an idiot, babe…” ~Bob Dylan
This one felt like forgiveness. We’re idiots, we don’t know anything and furthermore, we continually fuck up.
Socrates said it in a more sophisticated way: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Holding high expectations for yourself is one thing, beating yourself up over mistakes is another. Another good reminder.
There’s an image attached to this line in my mind. My cousin Wil leaving my house (I forget all the circumstances, I just see him in my mind’s eye), slightly shamefaced and smiling, and his parting words are: “We’re idiots, babe.”
“You’re gonna have to leave me now, I know. But I’ll see you in the sky above, and the tall grass, and the ones I love. You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go.” ~Bob Dylan
I never fail to take notice this line, but I’m throwing it in here anyway. I think it’s such a beautiful expression of loss and grieving.
“Love God, love yourself, love your neighbor. Cause they’re basically the same guy.” ~George Carlin
I didn’t actually hear this one, just kind of woke up with it in my head. I love George Carlin for the same reason I love Kurt Vonnegut. He could utter a profound–even tragic– truth and make you laugh at it. Like my other creative guru (Bobby D), his work evolved dramatically over the span of his career, and I think he died a very wise man.
Thank God for poets and critical thinkers.