I received a card in the mail yesterday from Jo who has bought a number of items from me, and never fails to send a lovely thank you message on a beautiful card. I am always deeply touched that she feels she should thank me, and does so in such a lovely way. Recently I bought some Vintage Sanderson fabric on Trade Me, and the woman I bought it from sent a card to thank me and suggest some reading for me after she read my blog. I am so touched when someone reaches out with words like this – and always keep these mementos.
I was reading an article in an old Listener magazine, entitled A Word in your Ear where well-known personalities were asked to write some advice to their younger selves. Most were fairly predictable “be good to people on the way up” “don’t sweat the little things” “take time for yourself” etc etc. I was struck by what Dave Dobbyn said, I hope he doesn’t mind if I share his words, there is such a wonderful raw honesty to them. He starts with “Shut up and listen, for God’s sake!” I think that may be what I would have said to a younger me. Have you ever thought what you may say to a younger version of yourself?
“Laugh a lot. Sing. Love your enemies and keep some of your best friends at arm’s length. Play piano every day. Learn to read music. Life is forgiveness. Don’t waste your time hating bad music. Devour the good stuff. Read more. Listen to Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong at least once a day. Learn to swim. Walk often. Eat.Your talents are gifts and they grow if you use them wisely. Listen, then play. The audience come for the songs. Play with them. Play like your life depended on it – it does. Don’t sign contracts. Shut up often. Serve people – make them feel good. Listen and perceive. Sing.”