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  • Writer's pictureMark McMinn

Let it Be

I was once in a band called Salt.

Okay, it wasn't a great band, and I was definitely the weak link. Put a guy with no rhythm on rhythm guitar and interesting things are bound to happen. But still, it was a fun high school and early-college adventure.

Back then I was a mediocre musician, so when Lisa bought me an Art & Lutherie cedar parlor guitar a decade ago I imagined becoming mediocre again. That hasn't exactly happened because my fingers feel too big and old, but I have enjoyed trying.

But clumsy music may be better than no music, and Lisa sings lovely harmony, so many evenings we croon together from our small repertoire of songs. One of those is Let it Be, the last single released by the Beatles.

Oh, and I hum a lot, which I'm learning may have something to do with having a neurodivergent brain that latches on to a thing and has difficulty letting go. (1) These day I am hoeing blueberries and building an accidental deck (a long story) to the tune of Let it Be. The tune and lyrics keep reverberating.

Whisper Words of Wisdom...

Hoeing blueberries is quiet enough, but building a deck is not. My Apple watch keeps telling me I'm being too loud. Yeah, I can be.

Does it ever seem that the whole world is getting louder? It's not enough to whisper our wisdom any more, so we shout it from the mountaintops. "You're not listening," we reason, "so I better get louder."

Let it Be emerged after Paul McCartney's mother (Mary) showed up in a dream. When the young McCartney woke, he sat down at the piano and wrote the song. I presume Mary did more whispering than shouting in that dream.

If I have any wisdom left in me, and years, I want to do more whispering and less shouting.

And When the Night is Cloudy...

There is still a Light that shines on me. Yes, there is. Along with other Friends, Lisa and I sit silently for most of an hour each Sunday morning in our unprogrammed meeting at North Valley Friends Church. Week after week I sense a Light shining through the dark clouds that shroud my broken soul. Shine until tomorrow.

Please, yes.

Let it Be

Mary McCartney's words to Paul in that dream were to lay down his worries. There will be an answer. Let it be.

I don't know that I've ever used these exact words as a psychologist working with people in pain, but this is often the work we are doing. Many of us spend far too much effort trying to push things away or tug things in. Peace shows up in surprising ways as we learn to accept, to sit still, to relinquish control.

When telling Lisa how meaningful this phrase has become for me, she reminded me of the Serenity Prayer, which has an interesting origin story of its own before emerging as a recognized part of Alcoholic Anonymous.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

There is so much I would love to change about myself, others, and the everything-ness that swirls around us. Some of it can be changed, but much of it can't, and my fretting doesn't seem useful.

Guitar frets may be enough, even with old, clumsy fingers.

Let it be.


(1) Sometimes I get a glimpse of how annoying I must be to live with.


While I never plan to monetize this blog, I will mention a new book Lisa and I have coming out later this year, An Invitation to Slow. I'm excited about this one!


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