I’d like to raise my Saturday afternoon mug of coffee to everybody who has given up on me.
To you — and you — and you and you and you. Sixty years of living haven given me a mighty large peanut gallery. Men and women alike: Folks who see my passion and find it irresistible until they cannot dissuade me from my chosen causes. Or people who admire my fierce independence as long as I’m willing to surrender to their control. Here’s to those who tell me how brave I am for enduring pain, then flinch when I cannot endure any more and fall apart.
Here’s to what I learned from their rejection of me; the lessons that I use to weave my Super Woman cape, or my shroud, or my hair shirt — as the case might be.
Most of what I am comes from those who nurtured me, but a tough thread of strength comes from those who found me too much to handle; too little to satisfy; too incapable, too bull-headed, too tenacious. I learn a lot from everyone who wanders into my orbit, whether they stay or drift away; whether they cling to me or scramble in the opposite direction.
Listen: I know my strengths but more keenly do I understand my shortcomings. I strive to minimize their impact and change my ways to overcome the damage that my failings have done and will do. But even when I err, I have worth. The noble side of love takes faults into account and never wavers. I appreciate those who flee, for keeping me humble; but I do not buy their silent condemnation any more.
It’s the twentieth day of the thirty-second month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Well I’ve been out walking
I don’t do that much talking these days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to
And I had a lover
It’s so hard to risk another of these days, these days
Now if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
Well it’s just that I’ve been losing for so long
Well I’ll keep on moving, moving on
Things are bound to be improving these days, one of these days
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend
Don’t confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them
Written by Bradley Kirk Arnold, Christopher Lee Henderson, Matthew Darrick Roberts, Robert Todd Harrell • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
A special toast to any one who feels that I gave up on them.