Friday, January 02, 2015

That Gratitude List

Someone encouraged me to create a gratitude list instead of making pithy resolutions for the new year.  To be honest, there's no room for resolutions in my life. I'm constantly chipping away at my goals and priorities, and something usually comes along and turns everything upside down when I least expect it. That forces an overhaul, of sorts. And then I start all over again, in the middle of everything.  I'm so used to getting the rug pulled out from under me in some way or another that I'm not so sure I'd know any other way to live.  It's kept me hungry.  So there's that.

Here it is, before it changes into something else. 
  1. I am so grateful to be alive -- right here, right now. Period.
  2. God's presence in my life is a beautiful thing. 
  3. I'm grateful to my younger self for taking such good care of my body and I'm grateful to who I am now, for the drive to maintain it.
  4. MPB makes me want to be a better man and every day, there is more love.
  5. I'm grateful for my family: the ones who raised me, the ones that God sent to me and the ones who are growing me up as an artist, who inspire me and compel me to get better at all of this.
  6. I'm grateful for my "mentor" James "Blood" Ulmer.  Then again, he's not my mentor at all. I don't know what he is to me.  There's too much in there to say any one thing. I love him more than he will ever know.  That's what he is -- the one who is dear.
  7. To feel inspiration move through me and change me as it does so is a privilege.  I'm eternally grateful for my life as an artist.
  8. Here's another debt I owe to my younger self: I'm grateful for my tenacity. I didn't give up on my talent or myself.   I developed what I had and then I came to NYC. Once I took root here, I didn't quit. I stuck with it and I kept growing. God help me, I'm still growing. God help me. The bottom line is, I am responsible for the talent that God has given me. What could be worse than having talent and doing nothing with it?
  9. I'm grateful that I make my art, my way.  The songs on my latest album sound as good as they did the first time I heard them in my head.  That's nothing short of a miracle.
  10. And last but not least, I'm grateful that I'm still in New York City and that I'm still in an increasingly gentrified Harlem.

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