It’s funny how sayings or proverbs get lost in translation….. or intentionally misconstrued to win an argument.Like….. “for money is the root of all evil”. This has often been the rallying cry of the poor against the wealthy, affluent, moneyed, well-to-do, prosperous, opulent, silk-stockinged, loaded, flush, stinking-filthy rich. But the original phrase reads “…. for the love of money is the root of all evil”. Not only does this change the meaning …. but it turns the onus away from the money…. to the lover of money.Maybe money is okay…. as long you don’t crave, lust, ache, covet, burn or drool over it. Like Golum…. maybe…. just maybe there is more evil in the heart of the one who feels poor without money….. and therefore filters every experience, need, desire or relationship through this unrequited love.
There is another saying that could be considered an antidote to the money addicted souls.”….for where your treasure is, there your heart will also be”. This old proverb is medicine to me. How often I waste time dreaming of ways to make more money…… and how often I measure work…. whether it be a tour, an album, a writing project…. by it’s monetary value.
Of course I work for a living….. and cannot put food on the table without some return for my labor….. but I find that when I focus on the potential reward….. and the what ifs….. then the work….. and in my case ….’the art’ suffers.
The value in anything work related has to be in the ‘now’…. the present. Have you ever been talking to someone and you realize that there mind is elsewhere? That’s what it’s like when you’re thinking about money instead of the task before you. This has been true in terms of the quality of life….. when I have little work….. and or little income. I find myself thinking of hair-brained schemes …… to make more money. And then I wander away from the path … and get lost in the fear of ‘not having enough’. Thankfully…… either in a moment of quietness or …. from a gentle kick in the behind from a friend… I awake from the nightmare …. and I say to myself ….. “Oh Magoo you’ve done it again”.
This is where that proverb becomes a cure….. “for where your treasure is, there your heart will also be”. And so I ponder…. what Do I want my treasure to be?
That’s a big question….. and the more I think about it…… the less I concern myself with money…… for isn’t it love, family, friends, peace, job satisfaction (I could go and on)….. that I really desire? These things can rule over my life…… but not money.
There is another old proverb which says “Learn to be content whether in need or in plenty”
This is a truth that can be applied to every part of life. How often I find myself with out something I thought I needed, only to discover abundance in the lack.
I know this sounds strange….. but take the Quiet album for instance. I had been planning a big project…. decent budget, tour support etc with a label…… and things…..as they do…. changed….. and I was left with no budget ….. only a generous offer from a friend to spend a few days in his studio. And though at first I felt ‘poor’….. because all I had was ‘me and my guitar’….. I soon discovered the treasure hidden within this lack….. and the whole tone of the album was this quietness…. this simplicity…… and I would not have found these ‘riches’ with the big budget …. and or the label breathing down my neck.
It is also true during the days when I carry stress… either from work or family….. and when I can’t sleep I just get up…. creep out the door and go on a pre-dawn walk through the streets….. and I walk like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders….. more of a trudge than a walk….. but then the orange glow of the sun hits the horizon…. and the sky begins to reflect this glory over the houses and the trees….. and everything around me changes color ….. and soon I am caught up in a new beginning….. and this natural light becomes a spiritual light and out of nowhere I feel hope…… and when I return to my abode….. circumstances have not changed….. but something in me has.