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Matt Kinnaman

Full Force Gale

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If I ever imagined myself to be the biggest Van Morrison fan on the planet, I know now the van guy in front of me this week beat me out. I mean, now I realize I’m not even the biggest Van Morrison fan in Utah.

Even so, I got to thinking about Van Morrison this evening.

Ask me to pick a favorite Van Morrison song, and no way I can do that. You know what I mean, whoever the artist might be, Van or whoever else? It depends on the moment, the mood, the circumstance, your outlook, the challenge, or celebration, or sadness, or a million other possible things.

In this sense, many “favorite” songs can exist all at once.

Tonight, in this moment and circumstance and challenge and outlook, I found myself thinking about Full Force Gale, especially this…“Like a full-force gale, I was lifted up again…”

Man, sometimes, the cry of my heart comes down to that level of simplicity; the need to be lifted up again. I don’t need to ask you if you’ve been there, too. So, that makes us kindred spirits in this.

Being a long-term Van listener, I’ve heard Full Force Gale for years, and one thing never fails: Every time I hear it, it hits me like a timely prayer. I find that whether in good times or bad, the need to be lifted up again persists. Do you find that to be true? Somewhere in life’s array, we face a never-ending need to be lifted up again.

And in bad times, well, it seems that everything comes down to this one overriding cry: The need to be lifted up again. This does not indicate weakness, although I imagine somebody might see it that way. On the contrary, it shows a determination to seize the possibility of a better trajectory, and upward one.

So, my takeaway tonight, from a certain depth of challenges and unknowns, is this, and I offer it to you as well: Believe in the possibility that an upward trajectory is possible, that being lifted up again can happen, no matter how hard or how far the required lift might be. Start somewhere, in a good direction, and go from there.

I find right now, in my own world, beset by death and injury this past year, a year in which so many big things operated far outside of my control, I still, yet, always, retain control over lots of important decisions, the decisions and choices of every day, the biggest of which (sorry for the easy rhyme here) are attitude and gratitude. (Hey, I said in advance that I was sorry. But it’s true.)

Here’s my decision for tonight: My attitude will be that, no matter what, it’s possible to be lifted up again. And I will also decide to express gratitude. I will find reasons for it. Yes, faith comes into it. How? Because I believe in the possibility of being lifted up again. You need it too, we all do, someplace, somehow, somewhere. So go for it. Be open to being lifted up again.

And whether you’re a Van Morrison fan or not, enjoy listening to Full Force Gale. I hope to see you out there, riding that wind.

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