Blog entry


Song of the day: Lullaby / Billy Joel
Word of the day: Dhyana / Profound meditation; the penultimate stage of yoga

The other night I was in Safeway looking for licorice, I was sort of standing around in the candy isle staring at the shelves in a daze, and this song Lullaby by Billy Joel comes on the speakers. I happen to be standing right under the speaker when I hear him start singing:

Good night my angel time to close you eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say

I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Where ever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

Good night my angel now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay

And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
And dream how wondeful your life will be
Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me

Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die that's how you and I will be

Sometimes in life, you get caught with your guard down. As strong as the facade is, it still just drops from time to time, you think you're alone, no one can see you, or you're just not paying attention to keeping your persona up for the world. I was in one of those little windows of openness when this song came over the speakers in safeway, standing there holding my bag of licorice, it came through the speakers and right away I took it in, listening to it with my belly and heart. I knew this was the song Billy Joel wrote for his daughter after he was putting her to bed one night and she asked him "What happens when to people when they die?". The lyrics felt exactly like what I would want to say to my daughter, and suddenly I knew why I was so afraid to be a father all those years, why I was so set on not being tied to someone like that. I was really just so deeply afraid of completely loving someone knowing that no matter what I will have to say good bye to them, and they to me. You can't change the fact that you die, that every one dies, and I just didn't want to have a family because I knew if I did I wouldn't be able to help loving them absolutely, my heart and soul would be forever entwined with theirs, and one day we'll have to let go. This song came on over the speakers in Safeway, and I just lost it. I thought of my daughter, my wife, and some inexpressable love took over me, just rose up from down inside, and I started crying, seeing my daughters face and hearing these lyrics. I was crying under the horrible flourescent lights of the supermarket ceiling when one of the Safeway employees came around the corner with a broom, ready to sweep the aisle till he saw me wiping tears off my face. He paused for a second and then turned around and went to the next aisle, embarassed like he'd seen something very private. He did see something very private for me. I have a feeling of love for my daughter that I just can't describe. I don't think it's unique, or that it's somehow special to us, I think it's what every parent in the World feels deep down for their kid. Even though it's universal, I don't think it's ever any less in intensity for any person. That part of us that is pure, naked, selfless love is always there. Feeling the ache and great love in this song brought me back to the day we had my daughter's baby shower. We were going around the room, one person at a time, saying things about Ara and what she means to us, and when it was my turn to speak I couldn't, I just started sobbing. I was just caught off guard in that moment, I had no idea where the feeling came from, I just couldn't say anything without crying, in that room with a bunch of people -half of them strangers- I just couldn't believe how much I loved my daughter, I didn't even know that I had that inside me, it came up as a surprise. Probably in part because my mom was there, and my daughter was born premature, spending months in the hospital as a fragile, perfect being we watched, talked to, and held all day and all night, and I think for the first time in my life I actually got it- not the idea, but the feeling of how much my parents love me, and how much my wife loves my daughter, and how no matter how afraid I'd been all my life of loving that way, it was over, I now loved Ara that way and I always would. My soul lives as much in her body and heart as it does in mine.

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Razor-sharp improv. Lurking amid the minutiae of his observations on life and the Universe are some startling insights. Davis pulls off the most elusive of party tricks...Even the gods were grinning.

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