It’s just past one o’clock in the morning. I can’t sleep any longer tonight. The two hours I was able to grab is all I’ll get before the sun rises to bring in the hope of a new day. Where anything can happen. Maybe even the impossible.
Besides the weight of this burden of taking care of Ryan, I simply can not get the idea to find commercial space and “take Ryan to work” off my mind. Something is driving me, without relent, to make this happen. I know myself well enough to accept that my mind will not turn this off until I have a Ryan’s Rally LLC shingle hanging outside an office. A means to keep Ryan relevant by creating an entity that has indefinite longevity. You know, like Betty White.
The passion to do this is so intense that it’s worrying me that if I don’t, it would be a huge mistake. I call this primal feeling my “instincts”, but I’m wondering if it might be something more? Something deeper that is guiding me? Everything about this just feels right. And necessary. Although I believe everything doesn’t always happen for a reason, there’s a reason for this to happen. This I know without doubt.
The best way I can explain this is, I feel like I am tuned in to some sort of weird cosmic radio station that keeps playing the same song. One that I just can’t get out of my head even when I force myself to stop listening for a while. Just like all those Barney the Dinosaur songs that latched on to me for days at a time when my kids were toddlers. Other songs that do this to me that randomly come to mind (that I don’t even necessarily like):
- It’s a Small World
- Cotton-Eyed Joe
- Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
- I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener
- Who Let the Dogs Out
- One Week… actually almost every song from the Barenaked Ladies sticks in my head.
- Hey Mickey (Not sure who sings it, but I can picture that ridiculous cheerleader video in my head.)
- I want my Baby Back Ribs (Chili’s Commercial)
- $5 Footlong (Subway)
- Final Jeopardy Theme
- Lollipop Guild (Wizard of Oz where the Munchkins are shuffling their feet)
- It’s Electric… Boogey, Oogey, Oogey, Oogey
- The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow
Oh, I’m sure there’s plenty more, but I could be up all night thinking of them. I’m curious what songs have this effect on you. Share, if you don’t mind a little soul bearing! I promise, we won’t judge you. Okay, we might judge, but not too harshly. You know what, just assume we will ridicule you and then no one should be offended.
Wait, I thought of another one that I like to sing while doing all the hand and leg motions… Kung Fu Fighting. And just for the record, Y.M.C.A. is too easy, so no one can use that one.
Where the hell was I before I started this craziness of a tangent? I’ll need to check but this is probably a good time to thank you for how accommodating you are with my wild ranting over the years. Who else writes about his testicles one day and his daughter the next? Actually, I know the answer to that. Someone who is proud of both! That’s a joke… eh, kinda.
Hold on. I need a moment to scroll up and see where I was going with today’s post.
Wait! Got another one… Margaritaville.
Ahhh, I see where I was going with this.
I am, and always have been, big into music. Since the attack it hasn’t held the same relevance, but a few songs actually gained some. Also, I’m not locked into any one or two genres either. If it sounds good to me, I like it no matter if it’s “not cool”. Dare me to prove it? Alright then, here I go. I love Barry Manilow. There! I said it! His songs are poems, brilliantly written and interlaced with equally brilliant music. His voice is an instrument unto itself, like Steve Perry of Journey and Dennis DeYoung of Styx. I feel the same about Simon and Garfunkel when it comes to their lyrics.
As a fun quiz related to lyrics put perfectly to music, who out there remembers my personal anthem? I’ll provide it at the end of this post.
The only one person I know who has a wider breadth in music is my old college roommate, John Maletta (who also holds the “Ride for Ryan” fundraiser each summer). His life is an eclectic soundtrack! I would sincerely call him a self-taught musical scholar and historian. The human-musical equivalent to Wikipedia. As for me, I’ve been referred to as an “iPod” because I have great recall of songs and their lyrics. I’m especially amazing at impromptu parodies, Weird Al Yankovich not withstanding.
Allow me to refocus and bring myself (and you) back to the cosmic radio station in my head that I spoke of earlier. It keeps playing just one song in my mind when I think of getting that office. An endless loop, for that matter. The youngsters will know this song well since it was released about ten or twelve years ago and was quite popular. I always enjoyed it, but hadn’t thought about it for a long time.
The song I hear on COSMIC 98.5 FM: All Ken, All the Time, is I Dare You to Move (by Switchfoot). I certainly never thought of it as an inspirational song. You know those (inspirational) songs I’m talking about here, right? The old standbys like Wind Beneath My Wings, Don’t Stop Believing, Eye of the Tiger, and for every women who has been scorned, I Will Survive.
Like most everything in life, words are almost always more powerful and personal when put to music. Such are the lyrics to this song. I urge you to apply the words to it that way, with the music. To me it sounds like the singer is being encouraging; like, c’mon, you can do this and everyone is wanting it too. It’ll be worth it. As you listen to it, try to relate it to something you find as important to yourself as this is to me. I’m not sure of the artist’s intended meaning of the song, but I can see how it might be spiritually relevant to some. Yes, it speaks to me, but I’m not sure how… or why… or in what context.
It might surprise some of you that even though I have lost faith, I have not lost spirituality. More accurately, I gained it. There is energy flowing through this universe (that I believe is just one in an infinite multiverse), of all types. Good and evil are two for sure. So much is real and my human limitation and knowledge doesn’t make it absent. I can’t hear at the frequency of dog whistle, but it still exists. In fact, I can’t even hear or see one-percent of the acoustic and visual spectrum. I can only see in three dimensions; whose to say there’s not many more (I bet there are)?
So, where does that leave me? Well with nothing profound other than it just feels right; and this office obsession somehow ties in to something bigger. Or, so I think, but I could just be making myself feel this way for my own redemption. Is it only a way to forgive myself for blaming circumstance? Perhaps cosmic salvation is in order here? It should be, by damn!
Who really knows? Certainly I don’t. Maybe I’m just making this all up to fool myself into thinking this all has greater meaning. I might have just spent precious cosmic energy for naught, not solving anything. Meanwhile, I’ll just trust my instincts, transfer the energy, and accept the dare.
As I promised earlier, here is my personal anthem (to Ryan). Did you remember me telling you this a long time ago?
John Maletta says
I’m confident that you’re going to find some real estate that will be perfect for you and Ryan. I absolutely love your idea (or is it the Lord’s idea and his working it through you? Hmmmm….). I’ve always felt that the biggest challenge and struggle I have with my faith is trying to find the strength to give up my own will and follow His will. Personally, I suck at it and I’ve never had to endure anything close to the pain and suffering that have in the past 3+ years. Your idea will be a tremendous way to keep Ryan relevant for many, many years to come while also being able to help so many others that are dealing with serious brain injuries. It’s an awesome idea and your a good man, Ken (but of course, I’ve known that since our freshman year in 1982!). Make it happen!
For a while, there was a commercial that used “Mellow Yellow” in it… I hated that commercial, because the song would stick for DAYS. In order to get it out, I would have to go through the list of other songs: Yellow Submarine, YMCA, All I wanna do (ooo ooo ooo) then finally it will go away.
It seems to me if something is on your mind this hard, you probably should not ignore it. Start by driving around, see what buildings are empty and then see who owns the location and ask them – if it’s empty now, wouldn’t a little income and a lot of advertisement be better than nothing? That’s just my two cents.
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
You’re on a mission, not that care of Ryan isn’t enough, and I don’t think anything will get in your way!
Now I have “We Got the Beat” stuck in my head!
John Maletta says
John Maletta says
Junior wants you to play The Go-Go’s. I don’t know why. He just does…. 🙂
Rita Brogan Lundstrum via Facebook says
awesome is what today’s post is.
I’m on my way to a small church where people don’t judge and no one has much money — but they show love and kindness the minute you walk in the door. So, just for starters, one song that goes round and round in my head is “Lose my Soul” by Toby Mac. Depending on the day (sad/gloomy/happy/hopeful) the songs that linger in my mind change. For a long time I often heard my favorite song … “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure … hmmm, now that you bring this topic up, I think I’ll start playing that again because it makes me happy. In the summertime, “Jammin” (Bob Marley) is playing in my brain a lot. Since like you, I love music, I could go on, but my lovely daughter is beckong me … so …. I’ll leave you with “Held” by Natalie Grant, which I sang every day the moment I met your amazing son.
Must go, but more later, and thank you, Ken for yet another insightful and thought provoking post. Wishing you, Ryan and Sue a beautiful day.
Love, hugs, prayers abiding…Paula
Maybe you should talk up your idea when you’re at the upcoming conference. You may just find someone that will back you! Sounds like it is something that is meant to be.
Gail Doyle says
Ken , I remember “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” I have the words to it that I had to have copied from you. Very moving song! You somehow will get that office space ,know you won’t give up!
The song for me that, for whatever reason, I keep hearing in my head is 1st verse of Amazing Grace and now a few of the songs you mentioned I remember well . I’ll keep thinking of more
Have a good day and get some sleep
91.9 is a great Christian Rock Station!
Ryan's Rally LLC says
Katy Perry? Britney Spears? I think an “Oops! You did it again” is in order here… 🙂
I had no idea Switchfoot was a Christian band. But, then again, I often wondered if my former church choir was either. Sinful singing!
By someone bigger than me I hoping you’re not referring to Betty White!
Yep, stream of consciousness… Now we have you and all those songs stuck in our heads! All you have to do is mention a Barry Manilow song (“Can’t Smile Without You”) and I can’t get rid of it. Katy Perry and Britney Spears songs tend to stick in my head too. And… I just listened to that Switchfoot song/CD in the car yesterday! Did you know that they are a Christian band? So yes, their lyrics have deeper meaning. And I believe this call you’re feeling to set up office space with Ryan is coming from Someone even bigger than you, Ken — so you are wise to not ignore it. I know it will happen in time, and hope that you can get a little more sleep between now and then. We are here to support your family and all your dreams for Ryan in any way we can <3