Feb 4 2016

Paul Williams



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Acceptance, Change



To be or not to be. Sometimes the choice is ours. Hamlet knew he could “his quietus make with a bare bodkin.”  That would be a knife in Elizabethan times. A little extreme. If I were going to “end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” I sure as hell wouldn’t stab myself.

No, I’m not suicidal. I’m not even depressed. Forgive the maudlin beginning but Hamlet’s soliloquy is probably the most brilliant thing ever written about throwing in the towel… or not throwing in the towel.

I’m not talking about the end of life. Life is precious and I will fight for every breath till the bitter end.  Unless of course, adult diapers are ever required. At that point Mariana has instructions to use the big pillow and put me out of my misery.

I want to write about life choices. Paths of glory or Golf?  If time is our most precious commodity we need to think carefully about how we use it.


Family. Work. Artistic commitments, inspiration, discipline and decisions! We make them and we sometimes waffle.

Politicians have a black belt in waffling. Going with the majority flow until you get elected and then making up your mind seems to be standard operational procedure during an election year. I’m a recovering waffler if you will. But, it’s a day at a time.

In 2012 Tracey and I began writing “Gratitude and Trust”. It happily made its way to the shelves of bookstores. It’s had brief recurring periods of commercial stardom, especially after the initial airing and subsequent reruns of Super Soul Sunday. Oprah has that magic touch. We are forever grateful.

Hopefully the book will take its place as a perennial. There’s nothing that would please us more than knowing that for years to come lives could be improved by what we offered. We’re off to a good start and the news is good.

The book has led to regular blogs, speaking engagements and for six months a podcast with some of the most interesting people we know. That came to an end recently. The podcasts will be available online at iTunes and there may be occasional new offerings. Do you smell waffle?

To podcast or not podcast. Are you starting to get the drift? To blog or not to blog. A theme doth appear.

It’s a busy time in both our lives. Tracey is busy writing, creating a great new series for television and I’m in the middle of “Pans Labyrinth” for the stage. I’m writing lyrics to Gustavo Santaolalla’s gorgeous melodies for a musical based on Guillermo Del Toro’s dark fairytale. And I continue my work at ASCAP, proudly representing over 560,000 music creators. All a gift of my recovery.

Moving on? Yes and no. We love Gratitude and Trust and the friends we’ve made here. I don’t want to give you up and neither does Tracey. So we won’t. We’ll find a balance that includes our continued involvement here as the way ahead is revealed to all of us. My morning prayer continues to be “surprise me God. Lead me where you need me”.

The heart of this effort is love of the philosophy, and the elegance of kindness that seems to emanate from those who embrace this spiritual lifestyle. Recovery is not just for addicts. Hallelujah!

I’m a 75-year-old recovering drug addict and drunk who’s learned one thing. When something works stick with it. I know I’ve never had more fun writing or learned more than the days spent alongside the brilliant Ms. Jackson. As Jackie Gleason said many times to me on the set of the three “Smokey and the Bandit” art films, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, Hardly!”  Yes, his nickname for me was Laurels and Hardly.

So stick with us and let us know what you think. Ask questions or share your opinions of what you read here. There’s a couple years worth of archived blogs, affirmations and quotations to enjoy if you’re new to the website.

I appreciate all of you and know that life improves when we tell the truth, clean up the wreckage of our past and live each day in gratitude and trust.

Blessings and thanks, Paul



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.