Notes and Reflections by feoMike

Cold Rain and Snow

do you remember the first time that is shook your bones? passion. i don’t mean here ecstasy, or some fleeting feeling of flesh; i mean passion; an intense desire or enthusiasm; thirst of life. for me it was april 2, 1987. tonight i was reminded of it.

for the past couple weeks i have been struggling with a certain ennui. i can’t tell if it was from seasonal affect. perhaps it is election season and dismal state of discourse in our time. perhaps a conversation about transition at work; movement in upper ranks and a certain uncertainty that transition brings. perhaps the frustration i feel when i see veneer professionals gaining mass attention on a great cause, but one that misses the mark when it comes to sustainable and real solutions to public policy. perhaps something else. never the less, the ennui had set in. a conversation over beers about ‘all the things’ shed some light on how i could make meaningful strides to solve some of the problems, tonight, but it was really the metro home and shuffle on the music collection on my phone that changed everything. on came ‘cold rain and snow’, by the grateful dead (the ‘steel your face’ version). several transformations ensued.

first, the music struck me, as hard as the first night i heard it live. it struck me deep in the knees. for me it isn’t about the meaning in the lyrics (let me be very clear i love my wife, more than anything; we have a very healthy relationship and we treat each other like best friends do always), its that the music strikes a cord in my bones. that song in particular makes me want to shout the notes like a loon in the most off key way in a crowded room of strangers, smiling all the while. it makes me embrace passion. it is religion. the music brings me up to a place of higher capacity; of being more human. that is what i mean by passion.

second, it reminded me of the first night i heard it live. april 2, 1987. worchester ma. the centrum. it was my first show. i think there were at least 6 of us in the car, but i can only remember steve, steve, mike and me. perhaps pete was with us. i was picking up my ticket from a girl who lived down the street from me. my directions were, ‘meet me out front before the show. i’ll give you your ticket’.

this presented all kinds of problems. so the centrum didn’t have one main entrance back then. there wasn’t exactly a single front door. if you have ever been to a show, you would know that simple directions like that are impossible. even at the too many to name shows i went to at cal expo meeting at the ‘golden bear’ was hard enough (there are 2 of them). or meeting next to the flag pole. the examples can go on. yet, after several laps around the centrum, i some how ran into ann. she sure enough had my ticket and the show was to begin in like 10 minutes. she was just about to sell it.

my high school buddies and i went in, and were treated to the most amazing show. we sat behind the stage, lots of room. great view of mickey and bill. the lights went down, the band took the stage, and the opened with ‘cold rain and snow’. it took me less than 2 bars to be dope smacked with the passion. i will also say, i was sober. completely sober. i spent nearly all of my 40 shows sober, but this one in particular was memorable. every single song seemed to light up my life like nothing i have every felt.

tonight on metro home, cold rain and snow did it to me again. so much so, that went and found the link above so i could listen to that show one more time. it didn’t disappoint.

passion, the intense desire and thirst of life, is something that i realize i must have in work. i go to work, not for the pay check, but for the vocation of it. to assit in making it perform at the highest of levels. to achieve the mission.

i don’t do it for the sale of something. not to convince the best and the brightest to join for the sake of joining; not to start a campaign; not for making better web pages.

i do it for the mission. in our case, it is ensuring that consumers have access to information about markets, in particular housing markets so they are treated fairly. our goal is equitable treatment in a highly variable and fluctuating landscape. one set up for some to have and many to not. one where the house makes money no matter what. our goal is to change that through some bad ass technology and a bit of transparency.

sometimes it takes a silly piece of music … that you love so much that it hurts to remind you of the moral compass guiding your being (yes i just quoted saphire). it takes passion to serve. i am thankful i have witnessed it, am grateful to be reminded of it, am honest that it waxes and wanes for me, and hopeful that it restores my focus.

tonight i have remembered the night it shook my bones. i just wanted to write about it for its own sake.