I reached for an old journal — you know, the old-school, paper kind? — for a little help on tonight’s (this morning’s) post. I found the following scribbled in blue ink on a page dated Wednesday, March 4, 1998…
“As I age, I wanna’ get better at letting go, not fighting the progress, the setbacks, not wasting time on worry. I wanna’ be more, see more, do more, and settle into some place of confidence and contentment.”
I was standing on the fire escape just now, listening to Rufus Wainwright on my iPod as I looked into the clouds for any sign of the moon or stars. “I could be such a great star,” he sings on ‘Shadows. “Still I’m far from happy.”
The year was 1998. I was about to release my ill-fated ‘Jackie Chan EP’ (which was greeted by its namesake with a cease and desist order). I was performing every three weeks or so at Arlene Grocery, Mercury Lounge, Nightengale’s and the like. I wanted to be such a great star. I wanted to be happy.
Now then, the year is 2004. I remain in progress. I perform livingroom shows mostly, most recently in St. Petersbug Friday night. It’s just me, my guitar, my songs, and a dozen or so new friends. There are few plumes, but plenty of rewards. I am the Johnny Appleseed of midwestern folk rock.
I am not a great star. I am (forgive me the reference, George W) one of a thousand tiny, twinkling stars in a clouded night sky. I am a middle manager at a massive media corporation. I am a triathlete, a marathoner, a brother, son, and uncle. Sometimes I write songs, sometimes I record ’em, and sometimes I perform ’em. I am versatile. I go from the rock club to the country club. I see and do more than ever. I have settled into a place of confidence and contentment.
I am so happy.
Which is a pretty good place to end a Daily Journal entry…