Spirit is Ageless. I believe I saw it on a sign driving on Anderson Mill Road in Austin, Texas. It was a rolling LED sign that posts Daily Affirmations, brought to you by the Unity Church. I like the Unity Church. Good folks, good messages. Good cookies after the service too.
I think it said something like Spirit.. and then somewhere down the line was Ageless. I drove by at 46 miles an hour and didn’t think twice about it. Then somewhere between the sign and the major intersection, putting three words together made me slow down and pull into the nearby neighborhood. Like when you hear an awesome song and you just have to pull over to give it a good listen? Yeah, that was me… the Universe or God or whomever was whispering to me to stop and listen. “Spirit is Ageless”. What does that mean? I would like to say that it was a voice like James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams..(“Go the Distance”), but it wasn’t. I would like to embellish that story and say it was the voice of Ellen or Oprah or even Mother Theresa to guide me to successful, spiritual woman-dom, but it was probably more like Wallace Shawn from a Princess Bride. “You’re trying to kidnap what I have rightfully stolen” or something like that. I tried to shake it. But Wallace kept at it. “I can’t compete with you physically and you are not match for my brains”… he repeated it to me again, with his Vizzini lisp “Spirit is Ageless”, So I decided to write it down. You win Wally Shawn. You win.
I do not play guitar well. I practice very infrequently (usually for a week, think I am totally awesome and ready to tour, get a tiny bit distracted, get hungry, go in the kitchen for a snack, wander around the house and the yard, check facebook and then don’t practice for another 3 months) But that day I picked up the guitar and “Spirit is Ageless” found it’s way out. I was closing in on a new season in my life and the words and the music just seemed to flow. This has happened a few times for me in the past, but not in a long while. It was exhilarating! I felt terribly insecure about playing it in front of my accomplished and talented songwriter husband, but I did. He was very encouraging and made me feel like it was a special song.
Jumping ahead, I had the opportunity to record my 3rd solo CD around that same time in my life and thought it would be a great opening song. I loved singing it. I loved performing it. I noticed that other people, mostly women around my age, resonated with it too. We all grow older every day. We do, friends. No matter what cream or injection or doctor we seek, we still grow older with each break of day. I had a painful realization that I was not on the path to youthful stardom, the new kid in town, the ingenue, the next American Idol, that incredible “Voice” girl or the next big thing or the latest trend or the hot new chick singer or omg! that songwriter, or the next signed artist to Sony, or the girl on facebook that just signed a publishing deal smiling with a pen in hand surrounded by a bunch of guys with Make Me a Damn Star Records, or even that girl on tour in Europe opening for Sting. No. I was a mom in the suburbs having lunch with my husband and a young lady whom he was going to produce, who happened to be extremely gifted and humble and worked hard as a singer/songwriter and was following her calling AND… who could be my daughter. She was about 22 years old. I. Was. Not. I remember that day so clearly. That is the poignant day I lost my virginity. Well, my naiveté, if you will, to what I thought my life was going to turn out to be. Even though I had a record deal in the past and all the support of family and friends, the signs were all around me. I still held on to the thought that somehow, I was going to “make it”. This is not a unique story. I am sure by this age, many of us have reassigned our dreams to other floors. You, Dream of being a Lawyer, will be assigned to floor 3, where you can flourish for some other woman, who does not have 5 children and a mortgage. You will find a warm, comforting & brilliant home there. You, Dream of Dancing with the New York City Ballet, will be assigned to floor 7, where you will find a passionate, young soul to carry this arduous job through, while I take care of my aging parents and work 2 jobs to do so. So as I lay down my dream of a world tour with the Lilith Fair metaphorically in front of the young female spirit at Cracker Barrel that day, I started praying for other ways to fill the void.
Wallace Shawn did not whisper in my ear quickly. It took a long time to pull over and be open to hearing voices of Movie characters direct my life’s purpose. I drove by a lot of signs with answers to my deep questions too. But eventually things began to make sense.
So here I gloriously am. 53, 16 year old son, married 17 years. Even though I have not toured Asia with my precious Sting, I have performed on the banks of the Llano River with my husband, with our son kind of listening in the audience and our dog picking fights with anyone who would come close to us while we were on “stage”. And even though I have not accepted a Grammy for Best New Artist, I have had the opportunity to see almost every baseball game our son has ever played since age 4. And even though I have not been on the cover of “You are Bitchin’ and Thank God, Young” magazine for my wild success in life, I have landed in a tribe who uplift all with their love of humanity, love of art and love of giving unconditionally. And for those things and for many, many other things, I say Thank You and Amen.
Spirit is Ageless. As our bodies and dreams age, may we stay forever youthful in hope and joyous abandon.
Sunday, April 29, 2018 a sunny day in Cedar Park, ready to clean the windows.