Quote of the Day:
“How many times have you heard someone say, if I had his money I’d do things my way, But little they know it’s so hard to find, one rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.”
–Satisfied Mind, Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes
TB’s mind, travellin’ always in its cosmic jalopy on the winding road toward satisfaction, has been contemplatin’ lately the lyrics to this great tune. Recorded by several artists I admire, including Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Jeff Buckley, and dozens of others, I was stunned to learn it was originally a hit for Porter Wagoner in 1955, which goes to show that I’m not one to go about judgin’ who is and who is not possessed of soul based only on the TV shows inflicted upon me as a small child in 1976.
“Satisfied” is a word not held in high esteem by all. I’ve been told that to be satisfied is akin to being finished; that it means all efforts to improve are finished and ambition is forgotten. I get that. But I also think there’s room for nuance in the idea of satisfaction, and that is to recognize and appreciate what has already been accomplished. This by no means precludes continuing efforts to improve. In fact, I don’t believe one can attain satisfaction if they do not have some sort of blueprint for further advancement.
The example that springs to mind is of a day of hiking in the mountains. The terrain is rough, there are bears lurking nearby and most of all TB ain’t as young as I used to be. But then, around the next curve appears a view of the valley below, the bluest blue sky imaginable, and an even taller peak to climb maybe tomorrow across the way. It’s a damn satisfyin’ moment and everyone who comes around that bend sits on the smoothed over boulder with the wildflowers growing around it to admire the vista, not forgetting there’s a lot more mountain left to climb, but satisfied in the moment for having made it to this point. Satisfied forever in the little corner of the mind housing the memory, yet glad for the anticipation of the next viewpoint, just a few hundred feet higher, past a few more bears, and even a bit older.
Achieving a satisfied mind is a lofty aspiration for a thinkin’ man, or a thinkin’ girl too. I’m lucky to have my girls as the reliable engine that drives my jalopy. It keeps me movin’ when politicians make the wheels fall off, or natural disasters and human suffering muddy the windshield, or when the constant pursuit of more, enough, money and things, knocks out the headlights. One of these days I’ll figure how to get the contraption runnin’ smoothly, impervious, though never oblivious, to the forces out to cause another little breakdown.
Then I’ll see if I can’t soup it up to go faster. Maybe put in a nice sound system too.