Posted by: aidshike | July 2, 2013

Getting back on my feet again – literally … and in motivation by song lyrics written by Sting

Hello Shelly,

It has been a long time since I have blogged. I stopped writing (and sadly stopped hiking) for a while after a major setback with AIDS HIKE. I had someone steal from and then try to extort money from the business that is also my passion and inspiration. I stepped back and had to get my wits about me. Like a dog who hides their tale and walks away, I was hurt and then felt a bit lost. After all, the same person who did these awful things was also the man who helped me create the Facebook page, the beginning of the website, get the non-profit status etc. He had “volunteered” his services and seemed really excited about the project. Being a trusting soul I wanted to have a partner/co-founder so I foolishly had him open the bank account with me, which he completely drained later.

But after a hiatus, some long hikes, a bout with strep throat and some major soul searching I have gotten back to walking and hiking again. I did go on some amazing hikes before then that I didn’t document here… a 7.5 mile hike to Swinging Bridge and a breathtaking waterfall in Little Patapsco Park – see pictures here – and a hike in VA with an old friend that was about 5.5 miles… and I just started to get my feet moving again two weeks ago, slowly getting my energy back from my bout with strep, with a 1.5 mile hike at Cylburn Arboretum, which is a short ride from my house and has a lush landscape with plants and flowers of all type. I saw butterflies, bumble bees, squirrels and chipmunks that joined me along the trail. Then I went on a short walk of about 1.5 miles with my sister’s family  in downtown Silver Spring after a birthday celebration with family!  Then 2 miles at the gym and 1 mile at Hopkins last Friday. Yes… I finally got back the gym and will go there again tomorrow.

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So all that said, I turned 48 two weeks ago and it was a tough couple of days. I felt lonely, embarrassed, ashamed and very judgmental of myself. I had over 100 people wish me loving birthday wishes on Facebook, but yet spent the day alone. I took time to reflect on where I am in my life and where I want to be, what I do and don’t do, and especially how I am currently without a girlfriend. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself but also let myself reflect in my pain. I am now 48 years old and am not working (ok, starting this non-profit is a major project…) but I don’t have a “normal” 9-5 life and especially have no sustainable income, no 401k, no savings and rely on assistance from the government and family to make ends meet.

I live alone with a cat  (who is very affectionate and my partner in crime) although I started dating last fall and dipped my foot in the pool, I am swimming alone again. These are thoughts I had… not realistic or self-respectful  thinking, but some parts are just plain true. My perspective on the other hand was tainted and I was far from gentle with myself. I did let myself roll through the feelings, sit in some deep depression and lay low for a few days until things passed. I very reluctantly went to a support group meeting Friday night and was received very gently & kindly and encouraged afterwards by many friends. I am so blessed to have these friends, to have so many other friends & acquaintances and a wonderful family that all believe in me and support me unconditionally. This is more of the true reality check.

But the living solo and not being in a relationship is a reality that often plagues me with loneliness and sorrow. I feel (totally distortedly) that almost everyone else is in a (healthy) relationship and so many of those around me have a partner, lover, wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend and life is great. Boy, this was also wallowing in self-pity and a massive “grass is greener on the other side” vision. All those distortions aside, I was alone then and I felt deep sadness. I have done some real soul searching and more reflection since then and my viewpoint has shifted. I do not have a partner myself, but I am very worthy of having one and mostly am alone (not dating too) by choice!!!

So last week I spent my workout and travel time listening to great live music from The Police and Sting. The music was from hard to find concerts of The Police live in Buenos Aires, Argentina (from when they reunited in early 2007 for a world tour lasting until August 2008) and Sting live at the Universal Amphitheater (in October 1999 right after the album Brand New Day was released the same year in September). I started becoming a major fan of The Police in high school and saw them in concert when they toured after (their last) album Synchronicity was released in 1983. Sting wrote most of the lyrics for The Police songs and for his solo work.

There are a number of Police songs that were on the CD that I have listened to in the past that reminded me of being alone like “Hole in my life”, “So lonely” and “King of Pain” plus I used to struggle with the words of “The Beds too big without you” after relationships concluded… but it was three songs on the Sting cd that could have taken me back to some pain….but instead I was coming from a great place when I heard them, almost laughed inside, and was thankful for the opportunities that also come from being single and how I believe that I won’t have to be alone forever. I am inspired when I realize that the search for someone special can be fun if my attitude is in check. So here are the lyrics from four songs that I thoroughly enjoyed and why their lyrics moved me so…

The song “Brand New Day” is so hopeful and positive in its lyrics at the end of the song (ironically the beginning is all about lamenting for a past lover!) The song has a long list of couplets of words that for me represent true connection and two people completing each other. This is timely as two close friends of mine, Patch and Carlee, just got married and the two of them have inspired me to continue my search to find a special lady to be the yin to my yang. I also feel that it can be a universally optimistic song for many others beside myself…

“stand up all you lovers in the world…”

BRAND NEW DAY

“Turn the clock to zero, boss
The river’s wide, we’ll swim across
Started up a brand new day…

I’m the rhythm in your tune
I’m the sun and you’re the moon
I’m a bat and you’re the cave
You’re the beach and I’m the wave
I’m the plow and you’re the land
You’re the glove and I’m the hand
I’m the train and you’re the station
I’m a flagpole to your nation – yeah

Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
Starting up a brand new day

I’m the present to your future
You’re the wound and I’m the suture
You’re the magnet to my pole
I’m the devil in your soul
You’re the pupil I’m the teacher
You’re the church and I’m the preacher
You’re the flower I’m the rain
You’re the tunnel I’m the train

Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
Starting up a brand new day

You’re the crop to my rotation
You’re the sum of my equation
I’m the answer to your question
If you follow my suggestion
We can turn this ship around
We’ll go up instead of down
You’re the pan and I’m the handle
You’re the flame and I’m the candle

Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
We’re starting up a brand new day”

Music and lyrics by Sting from Brand New Day

—————————————————————————–

The song “Message in a Bottle” was originally written by Sting in 1979 for The Police’s second album Regatta de Blanc. It has a chorus that became almost an anthem over the years and could be heard sung by the audience at their concerts “send it out on SOS”! It captures loneliness for me in a nutshell first before helping me feel not so alone as the song continues.

I found an interesting (although sterile) write up about the song on Wikipedia of all places:

“The song is ostensibly about a story of a castaway on an island, who sends out a message in a bottle to seek love. A year later, he has not received any sort of response, and despairs, thinking he is destined to be alone. The next day, he sees “a hundred billion bottles” on the shore, finding out that there are more people like him out there.”

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Just a castaway
An island lost at sea
Another lonely day
With no one here but me
More loneliness
Than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair

I’ll send an SOS to the world
I’ll send an SOS to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle

A year has passed since I wrote my note
But I should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life
But love can break your heart

I’ll send an SOS to the world
I’ll send an SOS to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle

Walked out this morning
Don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles
Washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
A hundred billion casatways
Looking for a home

I’ll send an SOS to the world
I’ll send an SOS to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle

a 1979 song by The Police, from their second album,  Reggatta de Blanc, lyrics by Sting

There are two Sting songs are just amazing, tantalizing and lushous…both also coming from the Brand New Day album – “Desert Rose” and “Fragile”- and worthy of hitting the replay button over and over… The song “Desert Rose” has great lyrics, also touching on the topic of love, but when I listen to it all I hear is an amazing story being told by the music itself… and the stunning voice and amazing duet performance of Sting with Algerian raï singer Cheb Mami.

With appreciation for all the thoughts that I mention in this post, and the turning around of my feeling lost for and longing for love, I am reminded that why should I be wasting time feeling sorry for myself and longing for love, when I am surrounded by love everywhere I look… including right inside of me…I may have also missed just how precious life is …which Sting truly captured in the song “Fragile”

FRAGILE

“…Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are”

Lyrics and music by Sting

Take a listen to these songs and especially those from the album Brand New Day if you haven’t already…I have …and I am very thankful for how the magic of music never stops moving me, inspiring me and touching me deeply often in just the right place, at just the right time.

Moshe Mark Adler

July 2nd , 2013


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