U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is one of those songs that I heard and vaguely liked when when it came out in 1987 when I was 15 years old. At the time, I didn’t really “get” the song. The words were mysterious, but I couldn’t relate to them. The song sounded alright, but kind of standard and mid-tempo to me at the time.
Musically, I find it stunning — almost impossibly subtle and unique. It’s such a weird combination: an oom-pah Polka baseline, weirdly undefined drums, gospel vocals from an Irish singer, and a couple of echo-heavy guitars. It should be a disaster. But it works! The end result is beautiful and organic. It’s catchy and singable, but not in an annoying pop sort of way. More in a timeless way that makes me think, “this song must have always just existed” like a mountain or a river.
As an aspiring musician myself, this song blows my mind. I can’t even imagine trying to come up with anything like this song.
Here’s the song’s mesmerizing video, shot in Las Vegas. It apparently had a lasting affect on legitimizing Las Vegas for musicians. 😎
Lyrically, I suppose the song is about spiritual doubt or yearning or something… blah blah blah 🙄. That’s not the part I relate to. The “honey lips” stands out for me now. Another sign I’ve grown up from my clueless 15-year old self. 🤓
I have kissed honey lips Felt the healing in the fingertips It burned like fire This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels I have held the hand of a devil It was warm in the night I was cold as a stone
But I still haven’t found What I’m looking for
Interesting side note according to wikipedia… this song was not the band’s original pick for a second single off of The Joshua Tree. But when “Red Hill Mining Town” stumbled, the band swapped in “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” as a late second choice. Music works in mysterious ways. 🤷🏻♂️
PUBG is the main game I play right now. I’ve been playing with my friends for over a year, and it just keeps getting better. It’s full of funny and ridiculous moments, tons of failure, narrow escapes, and (very) occasional victory.
In the game, you jump out of an airplane onto an island with your friends and about 95 other people. You start out unarmed and have to scavenge for weapons. The last team alive wins. That’s about it. It’s the perfect game.
Most of the time, you spend 20 minutes looting for weapons and sneaking around and then suddenly get killed out of nowhere. And the game is over. And you don’t even know what happened. Those 20 minutes ripe with tension and the silliest conversations with your friends that you can ever imagine. I love it. About 0.7% of the time (that is my actual stat), you win the game and get a “Winner winner, chicken dinner” shirt. 🤷🏻♂️
The core idea here is basically focus on your craft.
Creating authentic work that feeds your soul is all you need to do. It will fulfill you into old age, long after the Internet celebrities of the moment have moved on to late night TV commercials.
This article asks great questions, like:
Why do I want more followers? To what end?
What happens if I get them?
What would I do if I didn’t have an audience?
Get comfortable with digital irrelevancy. Get off the social media treadmill and figure out what you really love doing. Then set about learning your craft.
Reminder to Self
In my own case, I have a measly 120 followers on my Instagram account. Yeah, sometimes I wish I had 500 or 800 followers. But how would that change my life? It wound’t. What if I could make a living on Instagram? Well damn, that would ruin it. The pressure of having to post interesting stuff on a regular basis would make it no fun at all.
I like Instagram because it’s a place to share photos with cool filters. And I like seeing other people’s cool photos. And occasionally connecting with people. And finding good places to eat and stuff to do.
As for this blog… my About page says that I have an intended audience of one (me). I find writing these posts useful because it makes me really read articles and focus on what they’re saying. And it makes me keep writing at least a little bit on a regular basis to help keep my brain engaged. I also like sharing good content that I come across on the interwebs
If I tried to make this a popular blog that makes me money, I would quickly drive myself insane. I have a day job for that. 😂
Much to my surprise, I have collected a few subscribers along the way. Hi, friends! Thanks for subscribing, and sorry for all the random posts!
A couple of years ago, I started swimming laps to train for a mini-triathlon. I had always enjoyed swimming, but my swimming was just for fun — jumping in, cooling off, diving to the bottom of the deep end.
Once I started swimming laps, I found out that the hard part is breathing. I would get to the end of a lap with muscles that were not too tired and a heart that was not beating too fast, but I was completely out fo breath. I had to stop after each lap to catch my breath before taking the next lap. The idea of continually swimming laps seemed impossible. How do people do it?
The pool pictured above, Big Stacy Pool, is my favorite pool because it is open year round, is spring-fed, and is always 82 degrees. Perhaps because it was built in 1937, Big Stacy is 33 ⅓ yards long rather than 25 yards, making each lap all the more daunting. For a while, Big Stacy was nearly impossible for me. But now I can relax and enjoy the extra length.
Eventually I found some tweaks that helped. I would take a breath on every third stroke instead of every second, learning to breath alternately left and then right. Weirdly, fewer breaths worked better. And I would breath out through my mouth fully and then out through my nose as well. This helped me extend my out breath, which was came to appreciate was much more important than my quick in breath.
But the one thing that made the biggest difference of all was simply to relax. I found this out by accident when I wasn’t thinking about breathing. Trying to breath “more” or “bigger” did not help at all. But letting my mouth and my lungs and my whole body relax was a game changer. I stopping trying so hard to get my air and started just letting the air flow smoothly. I’m pretty sure I’m technically breathing less now, but it is more effective because my whole body is not working as hard.
And that is a lesson I have found applies to life as well. Just relax. Let it flow. A calm focus out-performs maximized effort. Move forward, breath, and don’t fight yourself. I’m learning to do this in my work and relationships as well, and it seems to be making me happier and more effective.
I actually kind of like doing laundry these days. It’s something you can just do, and you always end up with a good result.
You start out with a pile of smelly clothes, and you end up with a pile of fresh clean clothes, every time without fail. And it doesn’t take that long. And it’s not very hard to do. And fresh, clean clothes are awesome.