Last night while Norm Peterson my husband was upstairs working on our bedroom renovation/redecoration, I got sucked into several hours of the Biography Channel. I’m pretty confident that I can now tell you just about anything you need to know about Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, or the upcoming special about celebrity encounters with ghosts. Critical information.
One of the segments I really enjoyed was a program called “Johnny Cash America” and included all sorts of amazing video footage of his life. In it, certain portions had voice-overs by Johnny himself, lending a rather eerie quality to the old film. His unmistakable voice and larger-than-life persona made me hunger to know more about someone I had previously only encountered via Joaquin Phoenix in Hollywood’s Walk the Line.
One of the things Johnny said about faith got my attention, making me stop to grab a pen. I rewound the DVR to get the words just right. Maybe you’ll find them to be profound, as well:
“What is man if he doesn’t have a spirit, and what is man’s spirit if it cannot connect with the Master of Life?”
Later, in the Willie Nelson biography, Kris Kristofferson praised his friend as the kindest, funniest individual he’s ever known. He lauded Willie’s “outlaw” style of blazing his own trail and not falling into the easy traps of sounding like someone else, dressing like other Nashville stars, or wearing his hair like most country stars of the 50’s & 60’s did. But it was, again, one sentence that struck me as especially meaningful. Kris said this about Willie:
“[Willie] wears the world like a loose garment.”
Both of these quotes have stuck with me today. In particular, I’ve been thinking about the last one and about whether the same will ever be said about me. That I was in the world, but not of the world. That I engaged fully in this place, but was not tossed about aimlessly by the quickly-shifting winds of culture and expectations. That I wore the world like a loose garment: draping myself in it, but not constrained by it. Not confined or limited. Not bound by the seams, stitches, whims of another.
To me, that’s a beautiful thought.