My System 1.0

My System 1.0

I’ve always been a daydreamer battling the busyness. I struggled through every level of school and early adulthood as the details of my responsibilities got lost on my mental meanderings.

Finally, I found myself a system (called Getting Things Done, or GTD, by David Allen). The GTD idea is to build an information capture and review process for all your tasks and ideas. It’s basically a workflow of lists for all your to-dos and dreams that you review periodically. Boring stuff, I know, but when I really commit to it I find it makes room for all sorts of magic and miracles.

It’s a constant struggle to stick to my system and keep it sufficiently simple, but when I do, it saves me from constant worry about what I’m forgetting so I can daydream up new songs, like this ode to my system.

 

My System

I use my system to capture information
I use my system to structure inspiration
I use my system to make up my inventions
I use my system to catalog intention
Always planning for a miracle
Always scanning for a miracle

I use my system to connect from a distance
I use my system to fire up the pistons
I use my system to play all day with children
I use my system to listen and re-listen
Always feeling for a miracle
Always appealing for a miracle
So I’m free to make my art and play my part
So I’m free to undertake with all my heart
So I’m free to work out my philosophies
So I’m free from all of these anxieties

I use my system to buy myself some freedom
I use my system to know what to abstain from
I use my system to do and then do nothing
I use my system to amplify the loving
Always tending to a miracle
Always sending for a miracle
So I’m free to be with friends and not my phone
So I’m free to stay at home and be alone
So I’m free to be a fool and not be cool
So I’m free and not a tool of all my tools
So I’m free to let go of what I know
So I’m free to appreciate the show
So I’m free to not feel bad bout feeling low
So I’m free to go wherever I can go

I use my system to get up and get busy
I use my system to keep from getting dizzy
Singing reggae hymns and indie spirituals
Snapping pics and scouting out the visuals
Recording lines for all my oddball musicals
I finally learned it’s cool to be unusual
I use my emptiness to make a place
I use my denied state to fight the hate
I use my heart to steer into the fear
I feel a miracle is almost here

There’s Something (Irv Said)

There’s Something (Irv Said)


My last dispatch was from as far away as I could get this summer, the tip of a peninsula off Nova Scotia. After that, we spent a few days by Lake Ossipee in New Hampshire before returning to the Texas heat. I especially appreciated those last few days of vacation knowing they would soon end.

Walking back from the beach by the lake, I started singing to myself: “There’s nothing like the sun and the sand…” and this song was born. That night I fell asleep to the rain in the trees and had a vivid nightmare (as I often did while away). When I arrived back home to happy dogs that needed walking and wilting plants that needed watering, I was glad to be busy back home.

That’s the story told in the verses of this song about how getting away is made sweeter by impending return. And how what we learn while away is buried back in our busy days.

Lake Ossipee
My daughter Anais playing with her cousin in Lake Ossipee on a cloudy day

The chorus comes from another place, Irvin Yalom, a great psychiatrist whose books I discovered last year. In the relaxed mood of unscheduled afternoons I thought about his existential view of the human condition (which you will discover upon listening) and how we make peace on those ideal days with all the difficult realities we must return to.

J Molin
There's Something (Irv Said)
J Molin There's Something (Irv Said)
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There’s Something (Irv Said)

Capo on 3rd fret

G                                                  D
There’s nothing like the sun and the sand
C                                              G
The feeling of a smooth rock in the palm of your hand
Em                              B7
Sneaking a peek at the girls getting tans
C                                              D
Forgetting for an hour about all of your plans

There’s something ’bout wind and the waves
Lying on the beach just watching kids play
Everything’s so simple when you’re not in the maze
But you know you’ve got go home in a few days

Em                      Bm
Your isolation, your mortality
C                                                G
Your meaninglessness and your freedom
Em                        B7
As Irvin said, these four things are given
C                                          D
Now it’s up to you to do go something with em

There’s nothing like the rain in the trees
Outside your window as you’re falling asleep
Waking to the thunder in the middle of the night
Staring at the dark between the flashes of light

There’s something bout a dream that so real
You know it’s not true but it’s all you can feel
I dreamt that you left me cause I didn’t understand
In the morning you told me you’d never abandon me

Isolation, mortality
Meaninglessness a-and freedom
As Irvin said, these four things are given
So get out of your head and find yourself a rhythm

There’s nothing like arriving back home
When you’ve been gone for a while and your sick of the road
The dogs are all their wagging their tails at the door
You water the plants feeling totally restored

There’s something out there calling your name
It opens a door on how the whole thing gets framed
But back in your bed you sleep so long and deep
That you forget what it said like a secret you keep

Isolation, mortality
Meaninglessness a-and freedom
As Irvin said, these four things are given
So take a nice vacation and go do some livin!

There’s something.

Brier Island View Cottage

We recently returned from a week’s visit to Nova Scotia where we stayed in a gorgeous house in an idyllic setting. You can see the Airbnb listing here.

In order to join my artistic 8-year-old at the table, spend less time on my screens, and actually get a vacation, I spent many hours drawing a picture of the house that I had taken.

I was inspired by a short film called My Grandfather’s Memory Book to start adding watercolors to my sketchbook.

I finally applied watercolor a few nights ago. It was harder than I thought to wrangle, but as with every aspect of this endeavor, it was satisfying time well spent away from the faster, digitized world.

Brier Island View Cottage Brier Island View Cottage drawing Brier Island View Cottage watercolor