Thursday, August 18, 2011

Neither Down or Out

Some people drift along like a cork on a river,
 feeling that they cannot do anything except drift, 
moment to moment. This is an attitude of mind. 
Everyone can be constructive even in tiny ways.
~ Bono

Most of my life I have heard people mock the idea that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Yet they can watch TV and cheer "their team" to "give 110%" to win something shiny. Once I heard a parent tell their child to not bother with college unless they're a genius (WHAT!?!). People chasing their dreams and passions, really going for it is a punch-line for some. For others the mere mention of doing/thinking/voting/eating/accepting anything different is about as effective as speaking Chinese to them, unless of course if they do speak Chinese - then you might be getting somewhere.

There are lots of things I thought would work and didn't. Once I joined the choir in Grade 6 only to be humiliated by the choir director. "Didn't you audition?" she asked in front everyone. "I did" sheepishly I replied.  "Well, I don't how did you ever passed the audition." And I was asked to leave there and then. I can't begin to express the humiliation felt as I walked off the bleacher passing everyone and walking out alone. I was 10 years old. Lucky me had her for all of grade 7 too, an inspirational woman. No?

Even after that I really, really believed on several occasions I could sing. The verdict each time was reliving the embarrassment in Grade 6, but now I just say "Ya, ya, ya I know." I know and really do not mind. 

My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, 
who made mistakes, but recovered from them.  
~ Bono

Twenty years later I even joined a church choir - just because. I heard no talk of excommunication to get me out. But come to think of it, no one ever asked me to come back when I stopped going. Hmmm....

Driving today with the windows down, I was singing at the top of my lungs with all the passion my inner-Bono could muster. I stopped at a red light beside to two cyclists and gave them a rendition to U2's One that may haunt them for years to come. I thought about being quieter, but decided that "One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should" was too apropos to not belt out. 

The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear. 

There's no reason for me to not sing. I enjoy it and it hurts no one. ...Well, maybe their ears and good taste. But what other option does one have? Not give it my all? That's no way to live -  worried what others might think. 

I know dead 17 year olds that won't get buried unitll their 77.
~ Bono

My poor singing of course is a trivial thing. I'm sure I'd be a mediocre singer at best if I trained and put heart into the craft. But I'm only interested in singing along to my iPod and whomever has the misfortune of sitting beside me in church. 

Every day I die again, and again I'm reborn
Every day I have to find the courage
To walk out into the street
With arms out
Got a love you can't defeat
Neither down or out
U2, Breathe

Fortunately for my family I don't sing that loud every time U2 is played. In the car I was just happy, very, very joyously happy about this new chapter in my life. I'm excited about the future, learning and doing new things, providing for my family, being a father, meeting new people and singing new U2 songs. 

It's not a hill, it's a mountain
As we start out the climb
Listen for me, I'll be shouting
Shouting to the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light 

1 comment:

  1. MAN! What a heartless woman! Great post. I loved the quotes :)