Five Things I’m Grateful For

photo (5)I never play well with these viral Facebook things, but when my daughter tags me and when it’s about gratitude, well, I simply must relent. It comes at a fertile time too, on the last day of a whirlwind weekend trip home to Fullerton for my 40th High School reunion which was just last night. The older I get, the lower the bar for gratitude becomes (as it should be) so this list is bound to be underwhelming.

  1. I am most grateful for my kids, the source of the most profound, powerful and sobering experiences I’ve had.  I have friends who have lost their children and I can imagine no worse circumstance in this life. As Theoden said, “No parent should have to bury their child.” I break down at the thought every time. I do not take anything for granted. I am most grateful for my kids. May I go out before them and may they know they are all so dearly loved and that their love for me was well-received.
  2. I am grateful that I can still draw a breath, make music, get it up, and drag my ass to the gym everyday. As Paul Newman used to say, “Holy Christ, whaddya know – I’m still around!”
  3. I am grateful for my lifelong friends. I feel lucky to even have such a thing as lifelong friends. At the top of the list are Gym Nicholson and all my bandmates who have been patient with me, loved me and helped me realize my music with all their hearts. My list of dear friends is long.
  4. I am grateful I have a job in academia, where I am in a position to influence young minds. Some of the students actually care about what I have to say. I am totally humbled when it changes their lives. They keep me young, they teach me as well, it’s as good as being on stage, and I get almost half a year off. That, and they actually want me to make music.
  5. I have known love. I have known betrayal and grief, I have mourned, I have fucked, I have fucked up, I have sacrificed, I have opened myself, I have taken chances and risks, I have lied and been lied to, cheated and been cheated on, I have learned, I have lost and gained, cried and laughed, screamed and breathed, I have been invited in and have been kept out, I have seen some of the world and its lovely people, I have believed and then dismissed a good deal of silliness, increasing my sense of meaning, mystery, joy, awe, and wonder. In short, I have lived. But really, I have known love and I am grateful that at least as of this moment I have the capacity and opportunity to love again, more deeply still.

Fullerton, CA, September 14, 2014

2 thoughts on “Five Things I’m Grateful For

  1. Thanks, Ojo! I need the reminder to be grateful on a regular basis. My oldest has just started college and while he’s only a hour away, it’s definitely an adjustment after having him around constantly for 18 years. I appreciate your willingness to be transparent and share your struggles and your successes.

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