Deliver your authentic voice

The Only Worthwhile Thing

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. ― Albert Einstein, "Old Man's Advice to Youth: 'Never Lose a Holy Curiosity.'" LIFE Magazine (2 May 1955) p. 64”

It can be a challenge to stay curious, especially about the one thing we assume we know inside and out: ourselves.



But how can we know ourselves when we are constantly changing, growing, and adapting to new circumstances? The person we believe ourselves to be is just a collection of stories and ideas we have about ourselves, most of them based on the reactions of those around us.


The question of who and what we are is always an open question. Our role is not actually to know ourselves, but to stay curious about ourselves. To meet and re-meet ourselves daily. To remain in awe over the mystery of our existence, to wonder what we might be capable of, and to continually offer ourselves new opportunities for self-discovery.



This week, for example, I discovered that I enjoy writing song lyrics.


I got a request, out of the blue, from a musician who is looking for a lyricist, for an example of my songwriting skills. I hadn't even attempted to write song lyrics in years, though I was quite the jr. lyricist as a kid. But I figured, what the hell? I'm always up for an adventure.


So I listened to some of his favorite musicians, went for a walk to let the inspiration simmer, and then sat down to write.


Then I resisted the overwhelming urge to judge what I had written, and sent it on its way.


I don't know if anything will come of it, and honestly I don't much care. It was a lovely reminder that there are no limitations on our creativity.


Here's what I came up with. Enjoy!


The Only Worthwhile Thing


She always hears the lyrics

No matter how hard she tries

To ring her ears not to hear it

Still the words fill up her eyes

With an ocean of hoarded-up feelings

With her notions of boarded-up dreams

So she sings out a shower of longing

She sends out an S-O-N-G

To conjure a kindred spirit

Oh but he only hears the beat


And somewhere he is dancing

All barefoot in the sand

While somewhere she is singing

To the hairbrush in her hand

And someday she will dance

And someday he will sing

The day they take a chance

On the only worthwhile thing


He only hears a beat

Feels it pounding in his chest

It spreads down to his feet

Spurs him to step into mess after mess

There’s a wreckage of hearts left behind him

Like jellyfish moored on the shore

It gets harder and harder to find him

Not even he tries anymore

To conjure a kindred spirit

Who can read between the beat


And somewhere she is singing

To the hairbrush in her hand

While somewhere he is dancing

All barefoot in the sand

And someday she will dance

And someday he will sing

The day they take a chance

On the only worthwhile thing


She whispers her song on the subway

For cover, she cradles her phone

And pretends to be serenading

A someone who she’s never known

An old woman hears her and shifts in her seat

Offers a false-toothed grin and a wink

Startled, she freezes and pockets the phone

Cuz what would all these strangers think

If they knew she was calling a kindred

Whose rhythm she feels in her feet


And somewhere he is dancing

All barefoot in the sand

While somewhere she is singing

To the cell phone in her hand

And someday they will dance

And someday they will sing

The day they take a chance

On the only worthwhile thing


If you ask him where he heard it

He’d say “your guess is as good as mine”

That’s exactly how he’d word it

Then he’d offer you a glass of wine

He’d pretend to listen to your dreams and fears

And all the stories of your sordid past

But the truth is he cannot hear you

The words simply can’t make it past

The driving beat of his kindred’s feet

Approaching along her path


For somewhere she is dancing

Her way down to the sand

And somewhere he is calling out

For her to take his hand

And someday they will dance

And someday they will sing

The day they take a chance

On the only worthwhile thing


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