On my 16th birthday I received some candles from a good friend. I was kind of overwhelmed since my birthday is on the day after Christmas and usually got lost in the hubbub of the holiday. To get a present that wasn't an extra pair of sox was pretty cool. I remember turning off the lights in my room and just enjoying the singular light from those candles and the feeling of connectedness to my friend and how she had touched my heart. I have sung this song in more different situations, from births and birthdays to weddings and memorials, than any other of my tunes. It speaks a metaphoric truth of the impact and affect we have just by being in each other's presence
I have found myself thinking of how I might make things different in this world. Thinking I'll get there eventually. As if there is a goal and a time frame to the answer to peace in this life. In some ways I think there is truth to that and so keep "trying" to get "there" wherever or however "there" might be. But another way to look at it is that we are only ever in a moment of "now" and the continuum of time slides past us. Whenever we do find the answer to the "big" question, it will be in what ever "moment of now" that our realization takes place in. So every moment is filled with the potential for our realization of peace. We need only grasp it ... now
I was frequenting a coffee shop at which there was this guy who was a little different. He wore an eclectic mix of clothes and dyed his hair a shocking orange. He always sat in the same spot and would often be seen rocking back and forth with the Cheshire smile on his face in a blissed out expression. I was waiting in line one day and caught myself looking at him and passing judgment on his appearance and countenance. All of a sudden in the corner of my mind I heard, " Maybe he's the one that's holding this silly world in place." What a wonderful reminder to myself of my own judgmentalism and lack of compassion for any other human being who just might be the one keeping things together for the rest of us through their joy however it might look on the surface.
This has struck me as a very different tune than I am used to writing. It has a very pop-ish influence and lyric line. Simple. However, I didn't go after this as an idea. It came to me and I have always said that I have never tried to push the creative process. I allow whatever the creative gift that comes to be what it wants to be. Music has always been a part of my life, seemingly dragging me forward by my collar, never allowing me to set it aside. The song needed writing and I'm the one it chose.
Most of what I write is aimed not so much at what has happened or is happening but more at offering a different viewpoint or way of looking at things. This tune is aimed directly at that idea. It is only through changing our minds and thoughts that this life will change for us. What would happen if we could look on our neighbors without hatred and malice or as people to get something over on or something from. I think it would be a very different world.
In the early 70's there was a bomb blast in Belfast , Northern Ireland that killed 2 women. One was Catholic the other Protestant. The image of two funerals of 2 innocents broke my heart. I wrote this tune shortly after. It has over time evolved into a commentary on the sad waste of precious life that occurs when innocents are hurt as the "collateral damage" from those who fight for power and control. Because it is such an intense image I haven't played it often in public but perhaps it needs to heard more now. It doesn't matter what ethnicity, religion or political side you are on in a conflict. The blood lost of those just trying to survive in the midst of the chaos is sinful.
When looking at a possible property to buy we got as far as a BBQ by Carl, the owner, for us to meet the neighbors. He was selling so that he could retire to his sailboat and go "aquatic RV-ing". I brought my guitar along and played some for folks. As we were leaving to go Carl came up to me and said," You need to write a song about 'fair winds and safe harbors' ". He told me it is the salutation that sailors use when signing their correspondence instead of yours truly or sincerely. I took him to heart and am grateful for his inspiring me to write this tune. Pete our bass player likes this as his favorite. The full name for this one is now officially FAIR WINDS AND SAFE HARBORS (SONG FOR CARL AND PETE)