So, the thing is… this column can be rather challenging to write.  I like to feature music I actually like, preferably love, and I also like to have a point.  Making said point can be difficult, people love when you have an opinion, but it can become sticky when you actually express one. Well, at least, an honest opinion.

Of course, any jackass can go through life without offending anyone– but are they really alive… what with all that gray?

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that my twelve-year-old has been secretly reading my blog posts.  I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or worried.  She’s super bright.  I was reminded by someone close to me once more to remember that I am putting my opinions out there for anyone to read and shouldn’t I be careful?

Yes and no.

I had dinner with another author recently and he reminded me how important it is that every writer remember their voice.  I would go one step further and say how important it is that each of us, everyone, remember their voice.

So, I say to my daughter, if and when you read this, yes, your mother sometimes uses foul language.  It is not for lack of vocabulary, simply out of sheer frustration and emotion, and, that happens.  I am human, so are you.  In that fact you will find our best and worst.  Sometimes I tackle adult topics.  I am, after all, an adult and that is appropriate.  There are times that my opinions are not soft and fuzzy.  They are prickly, uncomfortable and people react to them.  This, too, is appropriate and expected.  The beauty of our society- this lovely country- is that I can disagree with people and no one dies.  While this may strike you as mundane, daughter, it is not.  It is profound, special and a daily small miracle.

Each week I choose a song… for some reason.  Certain reasons are readily apparent, others less so.  I chose this song for three reasons.  First and most important, you, your sister and I sing it in the car.  You may not realize this, but you, your sister, your brother and your father are my favorite people.  If I could cover you all in hugs and kisses, I would, but middle school dictates that parents play it cool, so I refrain.  Singing in the car is a way that I feel close to you.  Already you are carving out your own life, your own identity.  It makes me sad, because I will have to see you fly away, but that is what is supposed to happen.  If your dad and I do our jobs right, then you will soar.  And it’s hard to let you go, but in the meantime, I will sing, off-key, but I will sing with you all.

Second, I love the lyrics to this song.  My dear one, counting stars will always take you farther than counting dollars.  And while society wants us to do the right thing as it sees that to be, sometimes more good comes from doing the “wrong” thing.  Yes, oh yes, sometimes that which should drown me makes me want to fly and definitely, that which wants to kill me makes me feel alive.  You come from a competitive, goal oriented family- we thrive on adversity.  Let them try to hold us down.

You’ll see, someone will try to hold you down and you’ll fly instead.  Just watch.

And sometimes, you’ll die a little bit and feel so wrong doing the “right” thing.  Live according to your conscience.  You are a good person, trust that.

Most of all, my sweet one, if you are reading this, know that people are only people, imperfect and doing their best, like me.  I am not ashamed of my words- they are me.  Don’t be ashamed of who you are, because you are lovely.

The third reason that I chose this song is that it is awesome to run to.  You know how I love to run.

Here you go- today’s music to kick off your week:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT_nvWreIhg

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 1]
I see this life
Like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find

Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

I feel something so right
Doing the wrong thing
I feel something so wrong
Doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

[Chorus]
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 2]
I feel the love
And I feel it burn
Down this river every turn
Hope is a four letter word
Make that money
Watch it burn

Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

And I feel something so wrong
Doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that downs me makes me wanna fly

[Chorus]
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be, we’ll be counting stars

[Bridge 4x:]
Take that money
Watch it burn
Sink in the river
The lessons I learned

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

[Chorus]
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Baby I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be, we’ll be counting stars

[Outro 4x:]
Take that money
Watch it burn
Sink in the river
The lessons I learned

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.  Check out her creative contributions to the BBB Blog.

Touch the stars

Touch the stars

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