this doesn't have to be so hard
How I'm desperately in need
I was such a looker in the old days.
to make a first impression.
The mark this song (and band) has made is as strong today as it was almost 25 years ago when I felt it for the first time.
Oh, in time, the trees die and light will fade.
But I hope for a new breath,
a new life to take me away.
My friends and colleagues will recognize the title of this post.
It’s the question we ask ourselves before every pitch, negotiation, meeting or conference call. Start with why?
Why should they care?
Why do they need to listen?
Why should they follow us versus someone else?
If you want to know the answer to that specific question, read the book;
if you want to know the “why” I started this “thing”, keep reading below.
There are people that need to be recognized for the difference they've made;
because it could help keep the focus on making the most of our days;
and because something is moving me to do this –
and it maybe it will move you too.
It’s my 21st century mixtape;
created and curated with the sights, sounds and emotions
to inspire the sirens; helping us make some no15e.
So we start with why and answer with a line from one of my idols, Cameron Crowe,
I'm trying to get better because I haven't been my best
Some men are given the choice: live a long life or live forever.
This is my favorite picture.
It’s not in focus.
It doesn’t have clean lines
It uses no fundamentals of visual composition
but it is still one of the most beautiful images I have ever seen,
because you are in it.
Your presence, joy and spirit are so vivid,
just like that day.
We walked, reminisced and laughed.
You carried him in the back, smiling and whispering in his ear as you pointed out flowers.
I wish I knew what incredible stories and secrets and gifts shared.
I wish we could have just one more day.
This picture will have to do.
A single image with the power to take me back to that day in Madison,
to remind me of what you mean and who you are and why.
Do you have a picture that does that?
A frozen moment that brilliantly (re)surfaces
all the colors and scents and sounds and emotions of the day?
Make some no15e.
You followed him since the first day he signed with the team.
You know he's not perfect.
But on certain days in his life, he has been.
The night he poured in 63 points.
The time he crushed three home runs in the World Series.
The day he found Dwight Clark in the end zone.
You wish at some point; at some moment in your life,
you could be that perfect too.
And that is why you cheer for him.
That's why you believe in heroes.
It's got to be an incredible line if it makes me not hate Tom Cruise. Maybe in :60 it will all be different...
Everything changes with a pen in your hand and a message in your heart.
When every word is carefully chosen; each thought delicately (l)inked to a sentiment
that serves as a reminder or a validation, recognition, repudiation or profession.
Taking the time to capture a moment, share it with someone
and expect nothing in return is such an amazing, intimate gift.
Handwritten letters and notes, whether they are on napkins, scraps of paper or elegant linen sheets are tangible tokens we can carry with us throughout our lives; echoes of who we are, where we’ve been and what we believe in.
No emoji can do that.
Printing out and email or a text can’t convey those sentiments in the same way.
The trend today is to make our communications more disposable.
Snapchat, those “don’t-print-this-email-if-you-don’t-have-to” email signatures; KiK Messenger,
all designed to make our thoughts something easy to throwaway.
I say fuck that.
If you have ever physically written me in your life, chances are I still have it.
There are footlockers and original Air Jordan boxes filled with them that
I have moved from state to state, year after year.
Every yellow planka from CMH’s senior retreat;
Each one of the hundreds of pages Kiki Vandeweghe put in the mail in the summer of ’89;
A homemade Valentine written backwards.
‘Atta boys from the Journal Sentinel days;
Cards from Camp Illahee.
Goodbyes from colleagues I don’t remember
and ones I’ll never forget.
All these and hundreds more are my evidence.
Proof of how blessed I have been by so many.
Some of you may have gotten a note from me in the past;
it’s something I believe in and try to pay forward to this day.
It’s what this whole weird blog thing is all about really –
you knowing, people knowing
what they mean to me, done for me
and just getting it out in the universe so my final record is more than three letters,
because I so wish his was too…
What about you?
When is the last time your heart started beating a little faster when you got the mail; when you
saw that envelope with your name on it and wondered just what the message was inside?
When is the last time you put your feelings on paper and shared them with someone?
Let’s take back the lost art of the handwritten note and make some no15e.
Are you in?
The 12 notes that make up the bass line changed the time of my physical pulse (literally and figuratively). We stayed in sync until Red Medicine. Hearing that intro puts me right back into the Chudzik's car, listening to this on repeat, all the way to Oshkosh.
I saw this video exactly once. The image of Larry bound in duct tape, screaming
"I walk alone through the sleet and snow and pouring rain to
Get my heart broken, forever ever lost inside of
I walk along to slip and fall on strong reactions
Keep my heart broken, never ever amend myself"
has never left. That is truly alright and okay
Proof again that life's greatest moments are unscripted...
When I moved back to Waukesha in 1989, I was still a metal head. (Any true headbanger knows 1989 was a particularly bad time for the genre). Fortunately for me, a few incredible dudes shared a whole new world to me. "I'm in love. What's that song? I'm in love with that song."
The lyrics to this song are written over 207 times, across 6 journals from 1992 - 1998. "One day. One day who knows? Someday. Someday I suppose."
If it wasn't for Brad Feldman, I'd never have known this existed.
I never would have realized that this scenario and setting were the "dare to be great situation" I had been searching for all my life.
I never would have had the opportunity to write words that evoke a similiar sentiment; never gotten a chance to stand in front of a room and deliver a pitch just like Draper.
And I never would have believed in a million years that I could actually realize a dream like that.
Good luck at your next meeting.
Make some no15e...