Monday, December 2, 2013

Heading for Home....

Surroundings change, but that's all superficial stuff.
You go out there with what's inside you;
You close your eyes and You could be anywhere.
So where you are doesn't matter.
-Bruce Springsteen

You may not have even noticed it yet but while all of the Thanksgiving-related merriment was descending upon us - not to mention the shameless consumerism of all of the retailers who opened for business on Thanksgiving Day and all of the customers who came through their turnstiles - but December has arrived.  2013 is officially on its last legs.  Three weeks from Wednesday is Christmas, which means three weeks from Thursday is the next really huge day on the calendar of the American Retailer.  Nothing says "Spirit of the Holiday" quite as much as people lining up bright and early on December 26 to return all of the less-than-desirable presents received one day earlier.  I wonder if Hanukkah's early arrival this year will reduce December 26 to a primarily "Gentiles Only" crowd given that disappointed gift-getters of the Jewish faith have been in return mode since Thanksgiving. 

A couple of months ago while picking up things we actually needed in Costco I wandered past their Book department and happened upon a book entitled "Talk About A Dream", which is a compilation of interviews Bruce Springsteen has given over the course of the past four decades.  I have only been reading it in fits and starts so to date most of it is in the "to be read" column.  Based upon what I have read so far, I would certainly recommend it to any Springsteen fan.

The quote at the head of today's silliness is taken from a chapter that the authors have entitled "The Lost Interviews", which were interviews Springsteen gave in a number of different places immediately prior to and subsequent to the release of the Born to Run LP in 1975.   He gave this particular quote as part of a larger, more wide-ranging response to a question regarding his live performances and decisions he had made regarding where he performed and the context in which he performed.  Yet it struck me as being one of those things that transcends the setting in which it was said.  Certainly he is speaking as a performer about the live performance.  But he is also speaking in a way that envisions a far bigger picture.  

No matter who you are, what you do or the circumstances under which you do it, you carry with you every day the "junk" that makes you who you are.  If you bring your best effort to bear irrespective of the setting or the circumstances, then you shall never end the day wondering whether you have cheated yourself - or anyone else - out of your best.  The result, far more often than not, is something over which we have but minimal control.  But the effort we put forth is the one thing that we control completely.  No one but us can control how hard we try.      

In four short weeks or so, we shall be singing Auld Lang Syne, heralding the arrival of 2014 and making far more resolutions than we possess either the fortitude or the desire to keep.  Maybe, just maybe, we would find the whole resolution process to be less daunting if we simply resolved every day to simply close our eyes and to go out there - wherever there may be - with what is inside of us.  

We are all familiar with the time-worn maxim regarding objects in the side-view mirror being closer than they appear.  Perhaps the journey for each of us would be a bit easier too if we remembered that often the object on the horizon line ahead of us that appears to be an insurmountable mountain turns out to be nothing more or less than an eminently scalable hill.  It is an obstacle that we possess all of the tools necessary to surmount. 

All we have to do is apply ourselves.


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