Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Art and Serendipity: The John Denver and Spin Class Edition

--For those of you who like stories about artists and serendipity and how works of art come into being almost accidentally, don't miss this story about "Take Me Home, Country Roads."

--The story tells about how John Denver, who was relatively unknown, met the songwriters and persuaded them to let him record the song.  They'd thought about trying to sell it to Johnny Cash, but they decided to go with John Denver.  The rest is history--the song was a smash hit.  The songwriters went on to write 12 more songs for John Denver.

--They also formed the Starland Vocal Band.  Those of us of a certain age probably were singing "Afternoon Delight," even though we didn't know what it was about.  I was in 5th grade.  Afternoon delight meant that Mom had gotten to a bakery during the day and bought us special cupcakes for an after-school treat.

--One of the songwriters sums it up this way:  "'Left to our own devices,' he said, 'Taffy and I may have never gotten that record cut. It wasn't a country record. We could've beat up Nashville and nobody would've recorded it. One thing I learned in this business is that things turn out other than you planned them to, no matter what it is. And you can't predict what's going to happen.'"

--I was talking to one of my spin instructors yesterday, who has been encouraging us to get certified to teach spin class.  She said, "You never know what kind of doors it might open up."

--Indeed.  I do worry that I'm not rugged enough to be a spin instructor.  Let me be more blunt:  I don't look the part.  I could still afford to lose 30 more pounds. 

--But I do have endurance and strength, which you might not know just looking at me and dismissing me because of my cellulite.  Maybe I shouldn't dismiss a possibility so quickly.

--I want to be more open to doors that may be waiting to open.  More and more, I feel the nudge to explore seminary.  I want to stop dismissing that nudge.  I want to discover if there are resources I may not be considering.

--I feel like I used to be more brave.  Or maybe the stakes didn't feel as high.  I could make mistakes and still have time to recover.

--It's time to recover a bit of fierce fearlessness.  It's time to start thinking about what I want the next 30 years to look like:  in terms of jobs, in terms of my writing, in terms of other creativity, in terms of my spiritual life, in terms of investments (including this house, which is losing value even as we speak).

--I miss the days when I looked at a house as a place to get because I needed to have a place to live.  I didn't expect to make a lot of money on real estate.  I was happy if I could sell a property and walk away with money in my pocket.  I miss my pre-crash consciousness.

--Like I said, time to recover a bit of fearlessness.  Time to let myself consider the question:  What would I want if I could have anything?

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