Thursday, June 16, 2011

How wonderful life is (I sing a little Elton John)

"I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do, my gift is my song, and this one's for you... I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind,  that I put down in words, how wonderful life is, while you're in the world..."

The song is cheesy. I thought that when I first heard it at Waring, while watching the premiere of "Teacher's Wing" (courtesy of the incredible Tim Bakland and his wild imagination and talent). I think it's cheesy now.

But maybe cheesy is just truth spoken plainly instead of draped with elegant phrases. Maybe cheesy is a way of admitting that we are uncomfortably humbled by the clarity, the precision, the... true-ness of it. I think Elton John is cheesy for writing that life is more wonderful because she (whoever she is) is in the world, but perhaps that's because truth spoken without metaphors and analogies, no adjectives, just noun sitting neatly next to verb... it makes me nervous. You can't forget the idea for the words, and the truth is not slant, just true...

Ahem, so I sing a little Elton John to you today, wherever you may be reading this, between sips of latte or squinting at your iPhone, in a hard place or a tired place or a sunshine place or a laughter place. I'm singing "Your Song" to you as I type the non-slant truth over the waves of electrons and pixels and unfathomable technology to wherever you happen to be.

Verse 1:

I went running yesterday, my head so full of frustrated that I found myself whispering over and over in the first ten minutes, "I just can't do it, I can't do it, I don't have time. I don't have TIME!" And it took a mile before I had calmed my heart back into being a muscle for a while, working in tandem with my hamstrings and my feet. And I was headed home, home to that awful sinking feeling - you know the one? - of "I can't. I can't." But then, at that very moment, the sun peeked out from a cloud and the breeze picked up my face and shook me and the smells of motor oil and freshly cut grass and hamburgers grilling across the street wafted over me. How wonderful life is.

Verse 2:

When I see your comments on my posts, I want to laugh and jump up and down and possibly cry, but mostly laugh. How did it ever happen that my words, wandering through cyberspace, found you? And that you read and you take the time to tell me that you appreciate, that you hear me, that your listening ears have caught a glimpse or two of something true and even beautiful over here? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Having you here, knowing you took the time to say hello, that you took the time to read, makes all the difference in the world. How wonderful life is (while you're in the world).

Verse 3:

I know it might not be easy right now. Maybe you are so tired you could fall asleep, sponge in hand, at the kitchen counter. Maybe you wish for a love not yet realized. Maybe you wonder if you're worth it. Maybe you see the path in front of you disappearing into a foggy unknown - what the heck am I supposed to do NOW? But I promise that God's blessings are good in every single direction. They stretch over you, too, even when you can't see them. And when you think, "How can that bless me too? Doesn't it just bring me hurt? Doesn't it just promise rocky terrain and broken hearts?" I've thought that too. But His good is infinitely good. And He does not forget you when He blesses others, when you watch friends find love you can't seem to find, when people move in and out of your life, when you aren't getting the job and the acceptance letter to graduate school that everyone else seems to get. Trust me. His blessing moves in your life even now - how wonderful life is, even when we can't see it.

Verse 4:

Now just picture me, singing this to you, laughing and rejoicing that you are YOU, that He made someone so beautiful, so thoughtful, someone who can write like you, who can listen, sing, think, solve problems, write papers, cook, dance, and love like you do?
(Mandie Sodoma)

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world



  1. "...perhaps that's because truth spoken without metaphors and analogies, no adjectives, just noun sitting neatly next to verb... it makes me nervous."

    I've spent paragraphs trying to explains this before. Thank you for something beautiful and beautifully concise.

  2. Love. Another lovely post. ;) Gods goodness is crazy-awesome, any way you shake it! Blessings, Hilary


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