But my life is more than a vision

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

My response?

This song reminds me of the months I spent volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.  I was impressed that I was able to contribute something to an actual house! But it isn’t just a romanticization or fetishization of the “working man” motif – this song is about all of us having gifts to contribute. I also think it reminds us that the everyday tasks, the mundane things like sweeping up a shelter or reshelving books or such are equal opportunity tasks.

How do you make your life more than a vision?

 

Clearing webs from the hovel
A blistered hand on the handle of a shovel
I’ve been diggin’ too deep, I always do
I see my face on the surface, I look a lot like narcissus
A dark abyss of an emptiness
Standin’ on the edge of a drowning blue

I look behind my ears for the green
And even my sweat smells clean
Glare off the white hurts my eyes

I gotta get out of bed get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands, not just my head
I think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose

I had a lot of good intentions
Sit around for fifty years and then collect a pension
Started seein’ the road to hell and just where it starts
But my life is more than a vision
The sweetest part is acting after makin’ a decision
I started seein’ the whole as a sum of it’s parts

And I look behind my ears for the green
And even my sweat smells clean
Glare off the white hurts my eyes

I gotta get out of bed get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands, not just my head
I think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose

My life is part of the global life
I’d found myself becoming more immobile
When I’d think a little girl in the world can’t do anything
A distant nation my community
A street person my responsibility
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring

I look behind my ears for the green
Even my sweat smells clean
Glare off the white hurts my eyes

I gotta get out of bed get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands, not just my head
I think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose

Read more: Indigo Girls – Hammer And A Nail Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Indigo Girls Pittsburgh
Laura and I at a Meet-n-Greet with the Indigo Girls in Homestead.
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