Do you feel lucky? (Well, do ya?)
March 5, 2018
I’ve been thinking for the past couple of days about how lucky I am.
It hit me on Saturday as I was driving along the 401 to a gig in Toronto with Carly Thomas (with whom I feel lucky to play). As I was driving, I was listening to the final mixes of the forthcoming record by Lindsey Burns and the Lonelies (upon which I was lucky to play).
I don’t mind saying the record is fabulous. There were moments in the car when I was just shaking my head in awe, not because of anything I did, but because of what Lindsey wrote and what other people played on some of the songs. I am just so lucky to play with such stunningly talented people.
As I was listening to the Lindsey record I was also thinking over some edits I’m making to the Sarah Smith Euro tour blog, which – surprise! – I can tell you we’re going to publish as a book. There’s a whole string of luck attached to Sarah – meeting her, playing with her bandmates, working with her, being in a position to play and tour with her, benefiting from her ambition to turn the blog into something more.
Lucky, lucky, lucky.
Look, I’m still searching. I’m still looking for whatever comes next in several areas of my life, and when you’re doing that it’s easy to get lost in what’s not working or not happening. I get it, but it’s important not to get so wrapped up in what’s not working that you forget what is. I played on a wonderful CD that’s coming out soon. From out of nowhere I have book project going to print. I’m playing gigs with brilliant players and writers like Carly Thomas and Hiroshima Hearts and Sarah and Ken the Zen.
How lucky am I?
And how lucky are you?
Some people will respond to this and tell me it’s not luck at all. They’ll say I’ve worked hard and made sacrifices and been courageous and shown initiative and given a lot to what I do. They’ll say I’ve earned this stuff and maybe they’re right. There’s a quote attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca that says, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I’ve also quoted Geoff Thompson’s idea that success is sometimes a happy accident, but you can make yourself accident prone.
No matter how you choose to look at it, I’m lucky to be in the situation I’m in. I play with Lindsey because I knew somebody who knew somebody. I play with Carly because I interviewed her and it turned out she needed someone. I play with Sarah because I was in the right place at the right time. I play with Hearts because the right mix of people found each other. Yes, I had to put myself out there to get those opportunities and I’ve had to work hard to maintain them, but I’m still lucky they came along.
You might call it cosmic. You might call it fate or intention or simple cause and effect. I’m exploring the metaphysical stuff too, but for now I feel lucky, and that’s to say nothing of all the wonderful day-to-day stuff like having a terrific (and patient) wife and friends and freedom and a home and food.
The question now is, “Do you feel lucky?”
Well, do ya?
I bet you have reason to. Yeah, I know life sucks sometimes. I know people are dealing with heavy stuff, but if you’re feeling down or hopeless, try to think about where you’re lucky. Try to focus on where you’re blessed. My last post was about something I learned from my best friend. He’s gone now. I’m still here. You’re still here.
Let’s use it.