My life can revolve around music. The mood of a song and its lyrics can hit me like a Mack truck going down a freeway at full speed.
That’s how it was Thursday after I published my blog article for the day, spread it around on social media for people to see, got ready for work, and hopped in the vehicle for the drive to downtown Salt Lake City for my bus driving gig.
One of four compilation CDs from the career of Steve Winwood was in the player. Before long, the sound of a live version of the song “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired” — written by Winwood and Traffic bandmate Jim Capaldi — and the words to it made me think, “Yeah, that’s where I’m at. That’s where we’ve been.”
The song starts out mournfully at first. It’s dark, brooding, depressing. And the lyrics …
Sometimes I feel so uninspired
Sometimes I feel like giving up
Sometimes I feel so very tired
Sometimes I feel like I’ve had enough
Sometimes you feel like you’ve been hired
Sometimes you feel like you’ve been bought
Sometimes you feel like your room’s been wired
Sometimes you feel like you’ve been caught
Then, just when you feel like you’re sinking as low as you can get, the mood changes. You feel a sense of hope.
But don’t let it get you down, no, no
There is no reason for not failing
You’ve got to smile and turn the other cheek
So today you might be down
But by tomorrow you’ll be sailing
And you won’t even hear these words I speak
Some people want to be so desired
Some people can’t stand the light of day
The mood coming from the lyrics turns sad again, but by this time the song is almost taking on the feel of a gospel number.
Somebody’s laughing while someone is crying
Old folks are watching the close of the day
But sometimes I feel like my head is spinning
Hunger and pain is all I see
I don’t know who’s losing
And I don’t know who’s winning
Hardships and trouble are following me
Listen for yourself.
This blog was started because of a long prayer whispered by me over a couple of hours on a hot August day in 2011, when signs started showing that I could soon lose my job. And I did lose it around Halloween of that year. I had to rely on my faith to come up with something to help me through what was turning into a hard time, for me and my family.
Some very cool things happened in the full year that I worked on this blog on a daily basis. I started reaching people around the world from the first day, starting in Canada and quickly going to Norway. It felt like I was on to something, all starting because of a feeling I got from a prayer.
As time went on, I was invited twice to appear as a guest on live webcasts with The Huffington Post. I pissed off politicians, and out of one of those times I got the chance to meet (online) a former member of the Dallas Cowboys. A couple of articles on a telemarketing sales pitch got tons of responses from people all over the country.
I may have been out of a job and searching, but this blog gave me a sense of hope back then. It gave me a rush of adrenaline. My faith was at an all-time high. I felt a very special … closeness with the one I was praying to.
I’m in need of that again. Losing a home we’ve lived in for years, living through the pressure of having to be so careful about money to the point that investing $10 in a needed item is stressful … it tests your faith.
Our faith has been pushed to a breaking point with every lost opportunity for a better job, losing our home. We’ve never stopped praying. We just need one to come through in a big way.
These aren’t “softball prayers” either. There’ve been a few times on a Friday evening — my Sabbath evening — when I’ve found myself around sundown sitting behind the steering wheel of a Gillig bus at a timepoint just outside my church, having to wait because I’m ahead of schedule. I’ve taken that time to look at my church and pray with a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart, fighting off tears so my passengers can’t see them, asking for a better opportunity that would allow me to spend that Sabbath evening with my family instead of driving a bus, allowing me to see my church family again, allowing me to sit in a pew beside my lovely wife with my left arm around her.
It hasn’t happened yet. With another job opportunity lost this week, I’ve felt … uninspired. Conversations over the past months have included the words “give up.” Like we’re just supposed to accept our fate and learn to live with it.
But somehow we seem to keep that flame of our faith lit. Friends and family have prayed for us as well, or just offered positive vibes — all appreciated. They’re still needed, because the answer hasn’t come yet. But all it takes is one very big answered prayer, one very big positive vibe that pays off.
Back in those unemployed days, there was a scene from one of my wife’s favorite movies, “Secretariat,” that often brought a lump to my throat and tears to this sentimental guy’s eyes. It wasn’t just because of the story. It was because of the song that went with it. It gave me strength. It gave me hope. I want that feeling again. We want to celebrate answered prayers and positive vibes paying off.
We don’t give up.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The blog will continue on a weekday publishing basis. Starting Monday, it will take on a different look. But the approach will be the same with even more of a look at the people I come across on a daily basis, along with the issues that affect us. All part of a “rebirth.”