I’m a huge fan of Nina Simone. My favorite song? Feelin’ Good. I like it in all its iterations I guess. Most people probably have forgotten all about Nina’s version and skipped right to Michael Buble. That’s OK. I don’t think she would mind. Nor would she care about the Muse version. I like that one a lot. Who sings it isn’t nearly as important to me as the lyrics.
I started really loving this song when I was 45. I liked it just fine before that, but when I was 45 I came down with a little bout of Leukemia. Music has always been huge in my life, songs associated with people, places, events. Feelin’ Good got associated with my healing, my being alive. It was a new dawn, a new day, and I was, after months of treatment, feelin’ good.
Here I am, years later, still in love with this song. Still associating it with the thrill of being alive. Because, well, I am still thrilled to be alive.
K and I were sitting here talking the other day about how weird it was that it was going to be 2019. How it seemed impossible in some way, that it was nearly 2019. I don’t know why it seemed like such a big deal because, after all, it’d been 2018 for nearly a year, but somehow it did. Somehow time has taken a leap. The idea that 2019 was nearly here, and I’m still here, and though I’m older than I used to be, I’m not as old as I’m going to get. If you’d asked me in 1983 when I graduated from high school what I’d be doing in 2019 I wouldn’t have been able to even imagine it, being so far in the future and all. And now here we are, so far in the future and all. Weird. Not bad. Just weird.
Friends of ours recently asked us to attend a party. They asked everyone who was invited to bring a bottle of booze, an appetizer, and quote or song or piece of writing to be read aloud and shared. I think it was meant as a sort of send off to the year passing and a greeting of hope and inspiration heading into the new year. Cool idea. Sadly, we couldn’t go, but I was thinking about what I would’ve shared if we had.
There are a lot of quotes I could’ve shared. I’m a quote person. Just see the inspirations page of this blog for proof of that. The fact that I get nervous and shy at times might spur the use of a quote. I probably would share a quote like this… “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ W.B. Yeats
I could’ve shared a poem. I’m a lover of all things poetic and have been reading and writing poetry since I was a wee sprout, sometime near 1983 I’d say. I was 17 then, and graduating from high school, so my poems were very broody. I might’ve shared a poem at the party if I happened upon or could think of one I thought might be inspirational. Maybe the E.E. Cummings “I thank you God” poem…
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
e e cummings
(in ‘complete poems 1904 – 1962’)
Or maybe something by Pablo Neruda, Charles Bukowski, or The Type, by Sarah Kay.
If I had my wits about me I might’ve thought of something profound or witty or inspirational to say all on my own. Possible, if I’d had my wits about me. Sometimes they are vacationing and leave me searching for the right words, the right feeling, the right way to say what I want to.
Weston is currently crying over K’s shoulder as she eats her morning oatmeal. It’s the first day of the new year. He likes oatmeal. Sometimes all that matters is the hope that you’ll get the last bits of oatmeal left in the bowl. That someone will remember you like them, and that getting them will make your day. That those bits are what will bring you joy right at this moment. And maybe the story of Weston and the oatmeal bowl is the only profound thing worth sharing. It’s the simple things in life that are worth everything. Finding moments of joy. Moments of happiness. Moments of peace. We don’t need a lot to make us happy and joyful. Bits of oatmeal left in the bottom of the bowl will do. So I’ll say this… go out there and find your bits, whatever they are for you. See them for what they are, for what they mean to you. Relish them.
K has finished eating and Weston is now licking the bowl. His crying has stopped and he’s blissfully enjoying this tiny moment of joy. I’d say, like Nina, he’s feelin’ good. A pretty great way to start 2019.