Inspiration in the Spaces

October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

I was looking at some of the posts this morning on my Facebook page, and in amongst the usual political posts, like page requests, and family updates was this quote from writer Neale Donald Walsch:

Just close your eyes. Breathe. Stop whatever you’re doing for ten seconds and find The Silence. Visit The Quiet. Just for ten seconds. Do it six times today. One minute a day. That’s all it takes. One minute, divided into six parts. Go ahead. Do it now.

Although I am not always one to follow orders or directions, I gave it a try. I found it really did provide a moment of peace. Afterward, I wrote these lyrics:

Breathe

When the world around you gets to be too much
Your grip is kind of weak and you’re losing touch
Just take a look inside and find the silence within

When you feel your life is choking you
No matter what you say or try to do
Take a step back from the edge, then you can begin

To breathe — breathe
Close your eyes and feel the quiet
You’ll see that life is still full of wonder
And dreams can still come true
Breathe — breathe
Give yourself a moment and try it
If you feel yourself going under
All that you’ve got to do —
Is take a moment to breathe

If you feel you’re spinning out of control
There’s a battle deep inside for your very soul
Close your eyes and listen to the beat of your heart

Take a look inside and find a quiet place
All you need’s a moment and a little space
Simply give yourself a chance, then you can start

To breathe — breathe
Close your eyes and feel the quiet
You’ll see that life is still full of wonder
And dreams can still come true
Breathe — breathe
Give yourself a moment and try it
If you feel yourself going under
All that you’ve got to do —
Is take a moment to breathe

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Poetic License

October 23, 2015 § 2 Comments

When I was a younger man working in television news, I spent roughly eight months working at a television station in Alexandria, Louisiana. I was, I think, the only person on staff not from the Deep South.

As a semi-regular ritual, some of the news staff would gather for Happy Hour at what was probably the fanciest hotel in town. The Bentley Hotel was a structure with distinctive Grecian architecture and room rates I’m sure none of us could afford.

The lyrics below were inspired by the memory of one specific Happy Hour at that hotel. The first line in the song actually happened. The rest is pure imagination. I won’t share what actually transpired so as not to destroy the illusion. (NOTE: The lyrics have been revised to add an additional verse, shown below in bold type, and to remove what was the very last line.)

Just For One Night

I met a Cajun girl who asked me to dance
Beneath the Louisiana sky
I smelled her perfume on the evening breeze
That night, I felt like I could fly

She had hair that was as dark as coal
And eyes that could look deep down inside
When that magic night was finally over
I had nothing left to hide

Just for one night —
The stars aligned and time stood still
I don’t remember her name
But I remember the thrill

When she led me out onto the floor
It felt as if we were all alone
She took my hand and led me someplace deep
Someplace that I had never known

For an instant, when her eyes met mine
I felt like I was ten feet in the air
And even though the floor was crowded
We were the only people there

Just for one night —
The stars aligned and time stood still
I don’t remember her name
But I remember the thrill

Though it was just one night so many years ago
I hold tight to the memory
Two joined as one —
A single moment in the sun —
I wonder if she ever thinks of me

Even though we’ve gone our separate ways
I still can recall that magic night
Though we were never mean to have forever
What we shared was oh, so right

Just for one night —
The stars aligned and time stood still
I don’t remember her name
But I remember the thrill

Just for one night —
The stars aligned and time stood still
I don’t remember her name
But I remember the thrill

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Into the Inferno

October 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

When I went back to school, I began amassing various literary texts in anticipation of taking the dreaded Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Most of those texts I never got around to reading. However, one text I did read (actually, three) was an English translation of Dante’s Inferno.

After reading a Facebook post from one of my friends from my graduate school days, I got to thinking about literature in general (especially how much of it I have not read) and about Dante’s Inferno in particular. When I stopped thinking about it, this is what I ended up with (apologies to the spirit of Dante Alighieri):

Dante’s Inferno

When Dante said to Virgil, “Won’t you be my guide?
I have to know what lies there on the other side.”
Virgil said, “Think before you cross into the shade.
That’s where the back door deals are made
And honest thoughts begin to fade.”

Virgil said, “If you’re ready, come along with me
And I will show you things that few should ever see.
Cross with me, if you dare, beyond the gates of Hell
Sad is the story I will tell
Of how the proud and mighty fell.”

Here there are stories of avarice and greed
Of those who killed for love to fill a desperate need
Stories of those who had so much and would not share
And those who simply did not care

So Dante followed Virgil to the other side
Virgil said, “Follow close, and I will be your guide.
You’ll see the darkness that can live in people’s hearts.
And once the light inside departs
That’s when the double-dealing starts.”

Dante could see the torment in his teacher’s eyes
A pain beyond all knowing he could not disguise
“If you’d avoid a fate like that of which I’ve told
Then never let your heart grow cold
By only chasing after gold.”

I’ve learned that fame and fortune both are fleeting things
A dollar doesn’t give the joy a sunrise brings
Even the simplest man has wealth beyond compare
Look around, it’s everywhere

If there’s a moral to the story that I tell
Beware the choice that sets you on the road to Hell
It’s hard to change direction once the choice is made
Some debts can never be repaid
Once the devil’s plans are laid

Sometimes the fire inside us burns out of control
And passion fans the flame that lays waste to our soul
Desire’s a mistress who is so hard to refuse
So much to risk, so much to lose.

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Into the Mystic

October 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

First, apologies to Van Morrison for using the title of one of his great songs as the title of this blog post. However, it seemed appropriate.

Recently, I discovered the blog by Wayne Wirs, a self-proclaimed “rational mystic.” I was specifically reading some of his posts about van dwelling (living and traveling in a van), many of which connected with or linked to some of his more spiritual posts (he refers to the Diving as TaoGodHer) and all tied to the idea of rolling or going with the flow, or as he puts it, “flowing with it” (life, that is).

The next thing I knew, I was attempting to get in touch with that aspect of me (tiny as it currently is) and ended up with the following lyrics.

To Begin

Out on the open road
I seek to find my way
But She who guides all things
Has different plans this day

She is reminding me
That what I think is mine
Is given out on loan
To me on borrowed time

Trying to sit back and let be
To close my eyes that I might see
Beyond the world around to find the truth within
Letting go of holding on —
To begin

Is it my mind that’s closed
Or just some door instead?
What good is worrying
About what lies ahead?

Trying to take things as I find them
To accept, although I may not understand
Enjoy the ride, embrace the journey
Even when things do go exactly as I planned

The road in front of me
Has hidden twists and turns
But it’s within those spaces
The heart truly discerns

Trying to sit back and let be
To close my eyes that I might see
Beyond the world around to find the truth within
Letting go of holding on —
To begin

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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