The tickle of the banjo, one of my favourite instruments ever, does it for me. I road tripped it down to Barwon Heads last Saturday, and on that warm beautiful twilight, I had this song blaring with the window down doing 100 down Barwon Head road.
That banjo, and tempo! It had my feet tapping and my heart singing. I truly sang like no one was listening. Then I heard it. Even though I had heard the song a 100 times according to my iTunes, I heard something really lovely.
"Raise my hands, Paint my spirit Gold, And bow my head, keep my heart slow"
The human spirit is a powerful thing, isn't it? It can be so strong, so serene, so flat, so evil, so drunk with power, so giving, so caring.... It drives us, molds us, influences us, and can break us. So imagine the ultimate compliment, or the ultimate request out of our own needs.
Paint my spirit gold.
Gold is an incredible thing. It's valuable, averaging $1300 an ounce. It's rich in colour and shines. And it takes a lot for it to boil over, it would have to be over 2856 degrees celsius in order for it to boil, and 1,064 degrees before it melts. It's made of tough stuff, and it's so rich. For some it's extravagant, for others it provides security. Even when we hear a really funny joke or think something is awesome, we bleat out "Oh that is gold!".
I think when someone is asking for their spirit to be painted gold, they are asking to be made extravagant, because the opposite is crushing them. They are asking to be made strong so they can deal with the heat being thrown at them from whatever life is offering at the time. They have a need, and perhaps if their spirit remains gold, then they have some sort of chance to get through that need.
In the song, the guy is asking for his spirit to be painted gold. He knows what he needs, he needs peace. He needs his heart slowed because there's too much happening for him. Poor people back in the 1800's relied on the gold rush to help them out of poverty. It slowed down their anxiety. Even Victoria's biggest gold nugget was called "Welcome Stranger", as if the feeling of gold was welcome even though it was foreign.
There's something really complimentary when you ask someone to "stay gold". Say it to someone and watch their face light up, as if you have found a treasure in their spirit when their body looks like a cracked pot. That's your challenge for today.
Now I know, my last couple of posts have been a bit preachy, and lovey dovey. When you start to look after yourself, the cyclic journey it is, you start to feel good about yourself. And you want to share it with others as well. So don't panic, I haven't lost my marbles - this all goes back to investment in one of my favourite topics - community. I need you, and you need me. So if this is my way of empowering then I'm going to do this more because you all are amazing to me.
And what you have done for me, in encouragement, thought, love, action and support - it's just been gold.
PS. That song? It goes like this...