Bye Bye Blues
Failure happens to the best us. It’s inevitable and has no respect of person. Great minds have certainly found clever ways to spin it: Thomas Edison, for example, once suggested he’d discovered a thousand ways a particular thing didn’t work. While each of us can appreciate his interpolation of Fred Hamm’s Bye Bye Blues, no amount of wit can bar the fact that if you stick your neck out, it’s usually going to get slit.
I know because I’ve been the sacrificial lamb on more than one occasion. The position itself is synonymous with risk-taking, a practice Thomas Edison knew too well. How else could a person study and prepare and have the right formula…and still wind up discounted for the so-called common good? It seems as though people with the best intentions finish last, or wind up on a spit or altar.
I’ve been called “the best,” but was the first to go when budgets were cut. Like Edison, I too, have invented light bulbs! But many were stolen from me and attributed to other people—my own interpolation of the Bye Bye Blues classic. Every risk-taker, by default, is also a fighter. But fighting will eventually leave anyone scarred and blue.
Physical bruises, yes. But spiritual wounds are darker, and deeper than any blue sea known to man. I imagine that after my beating, my detractors retreated to somewhere in the Tropics. For them it was a season for celebration, not mourning or regret. And as they ate and drank and rode the waves of success, I struggled for air beneath the surface.
My story is no more tragic than the next man or woman’s. At some point or another, each of us has found ourselves below sea level. Some people drown in their depression and sorrow. Others take up residence in Atlantis: Amongst scholars and gladiators who, as Plato described, succumbed to “a single day and night of misfortune.” Risk-takers, however, resurface for another try.
Don’t sigh. Don’t cry. Bye bye blues…
Today, I am grateful to be a risk-taker. No, the road hasn’t been easy. I’ve had my share of losing, and have found more than a thousand ways a thing didn’t work. These blues I’ve experienced time and again. But with each day comes a new lease on life and the opportunity to start anew.
Let today be the day we resurface: To give our dreams another try, and if necessary, to fail again. In the immortal words of Fred Hamm…
I got a big surprise when I saw you smile;
I never dreamed that it could be.
But now I realize since I saw you smile
There’s only happiness for me
So bye bye blues…
This is your Monday Unleaded for the week of October 20, 2013. Have a productive week!
In concordance with today’s installment, check out this classic clip from two of the coolest guys to ever do it! Dean Martin and Gene Kelly perform a medley of “Blue Skies” and “Bye Bye Blues!”