John Prine was a mailman.
He was a mailman when he stepped on stage for an open mic night way back when and sang three of his songs…”Hello in There”, “Paradise”, and “Sam Stone”.
Now, if you’re going to make a break and move from being a mailman to….eventually ….not being a mailman, it’s good to have a ladder to climb up out of the “mailman hole” that’s as good as those three classic songs.
Cream rises…eventually, even if the milk is sloshing around in a pail as dirty as the mail business.
When the club owner offered him a job after that first ever public performance, John Prine went home and wrote what would become his first album…because he didn’t have enough material to sing for the 40 minutes the club owner had told him that he’d need to do at his new gig.
Things are really hitting the fan at my job right now.
I’m a mailman.
Just like John Prine was.
I like that word “was”.
I’m a mailman right now.
Anyway, things are really hitting the fan at work. It’s rough to keep up with the volume. It’s tough times in the mail business. It’s unpleasant.
But, if it makes me feel any better, everybody….UPS….FedEx…that guy on the corner with the old box van who drives around with somebody’s packages all day….all of them are having a crunch time now.
Being in the delivery business at Christmas time doesn’t do much to expand your sense of Holiday Cheer.
But that’s a digression.
This isn’t about me….it’s about John Prine….the ex-mailman.
After that club job, he quit being a mailman.
His talent freed him.
I like that word….”freed”.
Creativity isn’t limited to a gilded studio or perfect conditions.
He wrote his songs out on the mail route.
He wasn’t defined by his job.
He just kept rolling.
Awwwwwwww…..what the heck?
This is about me. Everything’s about me. Every single thing….even how acting like it’s about something or someone else is just a thing I do to make myself look like I’m not such a self-absorbed a-hole.
Maybe it’s not that bad….but….it really is all about me….when you get down to brass tacks.
I wouldn’t be hurt by or even care what other people did or thought if I wasn’t my favorite topic.
That’s a secret though….it would make me look pretty bad if the word got out that I must think that I’m the hub of the universe.
I can’t afford to look worse.
I guess that what I’m thinking about with John Prine is how fascinated I am by the people who figure out a way to save themselves.
I love to hear about the escape artists…the people who somehow, through talent or circumstance or bravery or maybe a combination of all of those qualities, “get away” from the thing that they think makes them less than what they could be….or…the thing that they don’t know is keeping them from….something even better.
John Prine was a mailman.
I’m a whiner….and, a mailman.
How do you jump?
I care a lot about the people around me…I love them like crazy.
They’re the only thing that keeps me distracted from my poisonous self-absorption.
Forget creativity….the ones you love are the fuel that drives the train.
That sounds pretty darn good.