Last weekend Katie and I got to go to the Butterfly center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. ‘Twas a bit dark, but still a rather nice time.
Congratulations to Paul Simon, who recently won the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. I’ve long said that I consider Paul Simon to be the second greatest American Songwriter (after Bob Dylan), though in terms of longevity Simon has him beat. PBS aired a show tonight that was basically a tribute concert to Simon and his body of work. If you can watch it as a re-run over the next couple of days, I would highly recommend it. There are several great performances, in my opinion topped off by Alison Krauss singing “Graceland”. Though I’ve posted the lyrics here before, they’ve been echoing through my head the past several days, and, especially as we focus on forgiveness here this week, I feel it’s fitting to post some here yet again.
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you’re blown apart
Everybody feels the wind blow
In Graceland, in Graceland
I’m going to Graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
There’s some part of me wants to see
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there’s no obligations now
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
Today I resolve not to make excuses.
When I am wrong,
I will admit it as soon as I can.
I will not blame my mistakes on others.
I will not pretend my choices are not my own.
I will recognize that I am not perfect,
and will not pretend to be better than I am.
As far as possible, I will be honest,
not denying what I have done
or imagining what I haven’t,
I will own the consequences of my actions,
instead of justifying them.
Today I resolve to listen better.
I will not simply hear the words people speak, but endeavor to bring them into my heart.
I will wait until people finish speaking before I start to talk.
I will not give unwanted advice.
I will do my best to remember
that people feel what they have to say matters,
and they wouldn’t say it otherwise.
As such, I will not discount people’s words as unimportant or trivial.
Rather, I will try to listen not only to what people say,
but also what they mean.
Today I resolve to not take myself too seriously.
I will not think of myself as being more important than I am.
I will not think everything I do is imperative.
I will try my best to do something silly.
I will try my best to do something only for the fun of it.
I will try my best to remember that it is as important to play as it is to work.
Today I will,
as much as possible,
remember there is more to life than being serious,
there is more to friendship than deep conversation,
and there is more to a person than how profound they are.
Today I resolve to be cheerful.
I will not be discouraged by things that are petty.
I will not be distracted by things that don’t matter.
I will not worry about things I cannot change.
I will not allow tomorrow’s worries to destroy today’s cheer.
I will not allow the unexpected to alter my attitude.
I will try to greet each person with a smile,
and say no negative word.
I will try to take the best view of every situation,
and refrain from being cynical.
Today I will do my best,
not only to be cheerful,
but to spread cheer,
hopefully making the world a better place to be.