I Could’ve Been A Clapper! (The Tao of Boston)


Okay, that title isn’t about what you might be thinking.

I’m not referring to someone with the dreadful disease known as “The Clap” nor to someone with an unsavory job…

I’m letting you all know, officially and with a chunk of chutzpah, that I can clap really well. I clap very clearly and loudly when it’s necessary to do so, i.e. in a noisy room. 

Because of this skill, I’ve believed I would’ve been a great member of the rock band Boston. If you’re a 70’s music lover, you may know that this super group featured loud claps in some of their songs – I’m talkin’ about real claps, not the fake-sounding, techie ones. You can hear these claps particularly well in Boston’s hit songs Peace of Mind and More Than A Feeling.

Remember those tunes, you ancient ones?

(I’m one of those ancient ones, by the way – I turn 46 in a month.) 

I’m insecure about so many things, but I know that when it comes to being a professional session clapper, I could do it. 

Here’s a weird thing. I write songs, both music and lyrics, I play some instruments (not well) and I usually remember my own lyrics. But I’m terrible at understanding what the lyrics are in 99% of the songs I listen to, even the ones I’ve listened to hundreds of times. I don’t have a hearing loss; I hear words, but they’re all kind of a blur. This is a bizarre habit that I wish I didn’t have. I envy those who can effortlessly memorize song lyrics.

You’ll understand why I’m grateful that today when I listened to Boston’s Peace of Mind, I heard — truly heard — the words to this song for the first time since I first listened to this song at age six.

Today Peace of Mind spoke to me. (A sidenote: I’m not manic. Ugh – that’s what sucks about having bipolar disorder…I feel like I have to be careful not to come across as too wacky in fear of others thinking oh, she’s manic – better 5150 her STAT!)

The truth is that I’ve been wacky for the 37 years that led up to my bipolar disorder diagnosis, so danger wackiness is my middle name.   

Back to Peace of Mind…I’m listening to Peace of Mind and I’m thinking,

Whoa, that’s profound stuff, even for a 70’s song. Peace of Mind – that’s what I want more than anything these days! 

My brain has been too “monkey mind” lately — it has been here, there and everywhere, with a tendency for me to loop on negative things such as the recent Facebook unfriending.

When I read the Boston song lyrics, I went over them slowly, word by word.

Peace of Mind 

lyrics by  Tom Scholz of Boston

Now if you’re feelin’ kinda low ’bout the dues you’ve been paying
Future’s coming much too slow
And you want to run but somehow you just keep on stayin’
Can’t decide on which way to go
Yeah, yeah, yeah  
Dyane says, “This sums up my life.”
I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind 
I’ve been ruminating about “getting behind” — i.e. my writing job. I’m weary of the competition in the writing world which seems to be growing fiercer every day. I know this field is not for the weak, but I could deal with it better if I could attain a little peace of mind. I need to stop caring so much about getting behind and perhaps emulate the philosophy of Ram Dass and Be Here Now.
Now you’re climbin’ to the top of the company ladder
Hope it doesn’t take too long
Can’tcha you see there’ll come a day when it won’t matter
Come a day when you’ll be gone
These words are very sobering – yes, I know there will come a day when the vicious competition and rat race won’t matter, Boston. I get it! All the more reason to seek more peace of mind while I’m above ground.
I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind
Take a look ahead, take a look ahead, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
 Now everybody’s got advice they just keep on givin’

Doesn’t mean too much to me
Lots of people out to make-believe they’re livin’
Can’t decide who they should be

I value advice from good sources. I think Boston got rich too fast and received unsolicited advice from many druggies wanting $ for their “wisdom”. As for the last two lines, I finally have an inkling about who I am, so I’m very happy about that!

I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead.

Look ahead.”

Okay, Boston songwriter Tom Scholz, you’re right.

I’ve been looking back far too much lately…I’ll look ahead for now.

Have a great weekend, my friends!
Rock on,
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017 unless she runs off to join a 70’s cover band.