I Should Be Zac Brown’s Publicist

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Gonna put the world away for a minute

Pretend I don’t live in it

Sunshine gonna wash my blues away.

I’d love to be able to see inside the minds of some songwriters, because I love to wonder where the inspiration comes from to think up dreamy lyrics like these. The kind that seem to speak to us on many different levels while creating a soothing imagery of surf and sun. Sure, the song may appear on the surface to be about kicking back and just getting away from it all. Beers, sand, beach life. Carefree. But when I hear these particular lyrics, I tend to find something deeper in the soul of the words. I’m curious if that was intentional, or if like my husband often tells me, I’m just an over-thinker. In either case, that’s the beauty that is music, it speaks to each of us in our own language, just how we need to interpret it. I hear,

Put the world away for a minute, pretend I don’t live in it

and think, isn’t that the truth? No matter how much we try to escape all the connectivity of this world by hiding out from time to time on “tech-free vacations” that is all we are ever really doing- hiding. We cannot really stop pretending life is actually anything else, until we can put it away for longer than a minute. And when we bring it back out again, do so with clarity and balance. Until we can change the way we live in a world that is in a constant state of connectedness, without having a need to escape off the grid every now and then just to regain something that feels lost. Until we care more about our relationships with those who can fill our hearts, and less about the ones who can’t. Until we can put the connection at the heart of relationships, ahead of the relationship of heartless connections to our self worth, out of our mind. Until then, we will all still pretend not to live in it.

There is a current state of ‘all or nothingness’ that we exist in. We either have our fingers on every avenue for communication, hyper-connection; or we feel lost, isolated, maybe freed, escaping on some tropical sabbatical. Spent all morning catching up? Not with your love but with your latest connection vice? Maybe you went out to a meal expecting to share your heart and instead you shared the silence with heads down staring at screens. All of a sudden its a short month and we skip the internet bill, there’s bad cell range, or perhaps a self-imposed, albeit typically short-lived detox and its back from all, to nothing again. Small minutes, forced vacations for your heart. We may use these ‘minutes’ to decompress, but then we return right back to it all with the same fervor as before. Why? Why is it so difficult for us to embrace instead-

Gonna put the world away for awhile

And acknowledge I still live in it?

Well, I don’t know about you, but for me the biggest reason is fear. Fear that I will miss out. On what, seems to be the biggest unanswered question. One that not only leads me to keep trying to find it, but fuels more fear within me that perhaps, the answer is buried somewhere in the countless hours of connecting heartlessly. I’m fearful that each hour spent there is one less I could be spending on my heart-filled connections relationships. But how do I know which will be worth the investment before its too late and I’ve given my time and my entire heart away to meaningless relationships connections? There is also a fear that resides in me that if I am selective with my heart, and invest in only the most meaningful, the real, that I might miss out on finding more “real” and maybe worse, on keeping up. This fear keeps driving me, and so I keep connecting, and connecting, and connecting…. and pretend I don’t live in it. While my real relationships and my heart are left to wait on me. However illogical that rationale sounds, its the most simple truth I can come up with. Fear.

It is with this last thought where I will leave you. Zac Brown sings this poignant third line of the verse-

Sunshine gonna wash my blues away

How interesting. After putting the ‘world’ away, and pretending not to live in it, even if just for a moment, to find some some peace; he heads outside to wash his blues, his worries, his cares away. Out into the sunshine. Powerful message there. Unplug. Go live your life by investing your heart in the connections that mean something to you. And for anyone who is familiar with the Zac Brown band, his heart is often found at the shore line. “Knee deep in the water some where.”

Its the fear that holds us back from remembering and technology that fools us into forgetting that our hearts are in fact finite. So is time. So is meaningful connectivity. The ‘world’ can wait. Connections are not always relationships. There is a real world out there, often right in front of you. If you long to find the time to slip away to what means the world to you, to your heart, then stop making it wait. Put the world away for a while, and let your heart stop pretending it has to constantly live in places it doesn’t feel love back.

I want to mention, I have a friend who went to high school with the great Mr. Zac Brown, so if by some strange fate he sees this post, I say this: Feel free to get in touch for any other lyrical interpretations from this little over-thinker and sincerest fan.

 

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Photo Credit: Jenny Bennett Life Is Swell Photography