It dawned on me that in my vocation I spend a lot of time saying “Thank you.” I say Thank You in emails and phone calls, I write Thank You letters, and I cannot count the number of times I say Thank You over the course of a two-hour concert. It’s apparent to me now that the words “Thank You” are the most consistent prayer that I say. It appears I have a job where expressing gratitude is a required custom.
These two little words of acknowledgement are imbedded in most of the transactions in which I engage in the world. But the Thank You’s would not exist if I did not, in some manner, first say, “Help Me,” or in other words… “I Need.” Despite our culture’s stubborn emphasis on self-sufficiency, we all need things. We need food, shelter, companionship, transportation, inspiration. The “Help Me” naturally precedes the “Thank You.” It is all a prayer.
Oft-times when I want to write a song I say to myself (usually out loud), “I need to write a song.” In saying this I am asking the universe to “Help Me.” This sets into motion a chain of events. It’s as if I have made a series of appointments in my calendar where the times, places, and nature of the meetings will not be revealed until the moment they happen. I’ve learned essentially what I most need to do is to show up, but that’s easier said than done. The trick, for me at least, is paying attention to the binary rhythm of “help me’s” and “thank you’s.” They help us remain connected to the vision of what we need – In this case, a song.
Over the past few years I’ve had a dry spell of songwriting. I wasn’t particularly troubled by it as I was spending my time doing other things – playing fiddle and mandolin and traveling. But last year I did say out loud to myself that it was time to start writing again. So now, slowly the songs come. And so do the concerts – sustaining us one by one. I Need, I Need, I Need, and Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Traveling Mercies to you all and Thank You for reading!