Mar 10 2014

Paul Williams



Share to Facebook Tweet More...

Hanging In There, Living Fully, Mindfulness




You hear that phrase a lot these days.  Sometimes it’s about finances.  There’s a particularly unpleasant commercial that shows people being given pieces of ribbon that equals their financial preparedness.   They’re all shocked to find the savings or retirement plan they thought would carry them to the end of their days only lasts till they’re 67 or 71 or some date that’s quickly approaching.   It’s fear as a marketing tool.   And it probably works.

Going the distance has sweeter examples I can turn to.  Tony Bennett at eighty-seven has to be the grand master of Long Distance relevance.  Accepted as a favorite by the MTV generation he never compromised his art.  He adapted to the platform but never changed his style.  He’s a classic example of authenticity as an asset.  Be your best – but be yourself. There’s only one you, and there’s no expiration date on your value.

In the sprint to success world we live in today we live by the clicker.  I’m referring to the remote control and its heirs, the multitude of devices that allow us to dance from one portal to another at cyber speed.   We’ve been trained to give our attention in short mini bursts that make absorbing a deeper point or quieter emotion almost impossible.   Does relevance require equivalent bite sized messages?  I don’t think so.

I find hope in the success of shows like “Downton Abby”.   Slow motion by today’s standards, it raises the intelligent entertainment bar.    I hope the show lasts many seasons.   I’m betting it will  “Go the distance.”

Distance and time are easily distorted by our emotional relation to an event.

“Hard times move slowly and the good times move so fast” is a line of mine from a song called “Time and Tide”.   Written in the early seventies it is proof I’ve been thinking about these things a long time.

There are time stretchers that I hate.  A cool note from somebody I love signed “Best,” instead of “Love, xoxo” and I start wondering what I did wrong.  The wait to find out can feel endless while the time between dentist appointments seems to fly by.

Then there’s the distance between the moment you realize you’re wrong and the moment you say so.  Distance measured in time that elapses before you make your amends.   With spiritual growth that should become a much shorter trip.  Enlightenment. Simple but not always easy.

There’s a world full of people facing hard times right now.   Finance and romance are the biggies.  Sometimes “okay” or even “painless” seems a long way off.  “Happy” and “fulfilled” may look like places other people get back to.

Trust is the tool I turn to in these cases.  When my world gets “busy headed” and the rats begin chewing on the wires I need to remember that when the time comes for action I will be ready.  I will know what to do to fix what needs fixing if it’s broken, how to build a bridge if I need to build one and most importantly these days say so when I don’t know something.

I can go the distance in relative comfort if I stay the course in love and service and keep reaching for that attitude of gratitude and trust.



Paul Williams

Paul Williams is a singer, songwriter, actor, recovery advocate and has been a fixture on the American cultural scene since the seventies. His book Gratitude and Trust is now available.