Someone told me years ago that we musicians do our shows for free. The fee we receive, she explained, covers the OTHER 22 hours of the day. Planes, vans, lumpy pillows, filthy dressing rooms: it’s not the glamorous life that people think. But I wouldn’t trade a moment of it. Occasionally, even in the harshest situations, a beam of pure light can reveal itself.
I was in a dressing room one night in London. Graffiti adorned the walls—scribblings, obscenities and off-the-wall comments. My eyes wandered. Then I saw it. Three sentences written in faded black pen, old enough to lose their luster, but strong nevertheless:
And choose what comes your way.
It was anonymous, and about the only positive entry out of hundreds. But something about these three little lines spoke to me in a way that a prayer or self-help book hasn’t, and in such a clear way. It’s become my mantra. Detach from expectations, but go for it ALL, nonetheless. And all the while, know it’s ME who has the ultimate say in how my life unfolds.
I’ll never know who wrote these words. But I’m grateful they were there and thankful that I noticed them amidst all the meaningless chatter. In a way, it’s what we all strive to do on a daily basis, as we look for those hidden messages of light in an increasingly darkened world. They make all the difference and can be found in the most unlikely of places.
Dave Koz is a six-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer, radio show host and the global ambassador for The Starlight Children’s Foundation. www.davekoz.com