Carlock: Thankfulness is in the mind of the beholder

Published 4:34 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Everybody had their fill of triptopan and carbs? Of course, you have, and now it’s back to business as usual. But the one thing we can’t forget about this past week is the importance of being thankful. Next to caffeine, being thankful is one of the most necessary ingredients to a successful career in the music industry.

A little-known secret about the biz is, except for the very top tier, if you meet someone “going for it,” they are usually risking it all. Their neck and reputation is usually on the line with every project they embark on. Understanding this and being a team player goes a long way in building relationships, making friends and subsequently, advancing your career. Thankfulness allows all of our independent spirits to play well with others when things aren’t “just so.” And being in tune with the season, if you don’t mind, I’d like to share with you some things from my most recent list:

• I’m thankful for being born with the ability to speak, the ability of unassisted movement, an agile mind and a general open-mindedness. I’m thankful that I can be friends with those who try the patience of others and with those who don’t share my point of view, knowing many people can’t. It makes me rich beyond measure.

• I’m thankful I’ve lived and hurt enough to be compassionate. I’m thankful I’ve been let down enough to have a dose of cynicism when surrounded by those who prey on the hope of the optimistic. I’m thankful that a high school girlfriend was unfaithful to me, so I could experience that life is filled with broken promises and that no one owns another person. I’m thankful for the people that trusted me with their hearts for a time, and more so for those who deserved and chose to be my friends afterward. I’m thankful for every opportunity to love and be loved.

• I’m thankful for quick retorts, aimed at me or fired by me like whipped cream pies, to keep us all sharp and creative. I’m thankful for the mercilessness of wit and the disarming nature of utter absurdity. I’m also thankful for the entertainment provided by the utterly self-serious who have no idea yet what these things are.

• I’m thankful for my daughter who, even as a small child, spoke wisdom to me. I’m thankful I was wise enough to listen. I’m also thankful that when I remind her of this and she rolls her teenage eyes, I can count it among her worst deeds.

• I’m thankful for the travel my journey has allowed so far. I’m thankful for the adverturer’s spirit necessary to travel cross country and back with people I’d never met, in a Saturn Ion. I’m thankful I could introduce the Grand Canyon sunrise to two young English rock musicians in love, bringing us to the humbling realization that our lives both mean everything to the future of the world and absolutely nothing at all. I’m thankful I learned that Parisians on the street or the subway were welcoming, friendly and surprisingly good at speaking English.  I’m thankful to have learned that the simple respect in asking a Frenchperson in their own language “Parlez-vous Anglais?” was enough to make a friend. And yes, there’s an analogy there.

•  I’m thankful that I can bleach my hair while it lasts and paint my nails in the same ways others paint and decorate their rooms. I’m thankful for the color black.

• I’m thankful that when I reach inside myself, the sum of all of these things are there. I’m thankful I can create words and music and laughter and love and beauty and memories for others. I’m thankful that this gift is how I make my way in life. I’m thankful that others who can’t do these things sometimes remind me that I live a charmed life, albeit one that was never promised 401Ks, mutual funds, stock market spikes and valleys, pensioner’s checks and other carrots of security. I’m thankful that I understand the strengths and exposures that freedom provides me, for better and worse.

• I’m thankful that falling down the rabbit hole has led me here to you as we’ve somehow managed to pass each other in this time. I’m thankful for new shoes and leakproof roofs and the chance to sing for all of you. I’m thankful for all of my friends, wherever you are and how ever we’ve met, for the jokes we’ve shared and souls and skin we’ve bared. I can’t wait to see you all again.

Dave Carlock is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment business whose work as a recording engineer and producer, touring musician, and songwriter made him Googleable. His work as an Independent Content Creator of Sound and Image has earned him a Grammy Award certificate and two Platinum Record Awards.