ONLY KINDNESS MATTERS: MY MEETING WITH JEWEL
Each of us, I think, has something we’ve heard or read - a lyric, a poem, a line from a book, perhaps a quote from The Bible that touches us, reaches out to us, inspires us in some way, or just somehow make us feel better about ourselves. Over the years, music has been my constant companion on the highway of life, bringing vision to my WWE matches, filling my brain with grand and dramatic images, until one of my greatest challenges was finding a way to take those images that seemed so real that I could all but reach out and touch them - and make them come to life before a crowd of people. I have written in the past of how Tori Amos’ “Winter” inspired some of my wildest matches, and how the Nils Lofgren guitar solo on the live version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Youngstown” made me feel like I could take on the world. But over the years - and during the course of this past year specifically, one specific line from the 1998 Jewel song “Hands” has continually lifted me up, offered me hope and seemed to offer a light at the end of a very dark tunnel the world at times seemed to be careening through.
“In the end, only kindness matters.”
It was that line that caused me to purchase Jewel’s memoir “Never Broken” a few months ago, and through her heartfelt words, I found myself connecting to her stories, her hardships, and the unique set of circumstances (and how she dealt with them, and learned from them) that made her the superstar she became, and the person she is today.
Honestly, before reading Jewel’s book, I would probably be considered a casual Jewel fan. I had “Pieces of You” (like just about everyone did in 1996) The Greatest Hits, and I listened to her 1999 Christmas CD on heavy rotation each holiday season – and sometimes throughout the year as well. But until I turned to “Hands” as the healing balm for a world that sometimes seemed to have lost its mind, and until reading the stories in that book that touched me so many times, I would not have claimed to have felt a connection to the singer herself.
But then I found myself caught up in the pages of her book, choking back tears on several occasions - like learning how the encouragement from legendary songwriter Bob Dylan kept her going at a time when the world was ignoring her, and she had come to doubt herself and her future. And through that book, I became a much bigger fan – not only of the musician, but of Jewel, the person, and I enjoyed discovering her music that had eluded me over the years, especially the lullabies, and her current CD, “Picking up the Pieces”.
So, when I heard that Jewel’s “Handmade Holiday” tour was coming to Long Island, I simply had to go - a declaration I shared with the world on social media.
“Dude, let’s meet!”, was Jewel’s response.
So last night, we did indeed meet - and she was awesome - not only in her performance, but with her patience and generosity with my family backstage. . She even mentioned “my new friend Mick” in introducing “Hands” to the crowd - resulting in my valiant, but ultimately losing battle to fight back tears. I looked at my wife, and saw tears of her own streaming down her cheeks. It’s a moment we will always remember on a night we will never forget.
Thank you Jewel, for your kindness. In the end, it’s the only thing that matters.
Here is a beautiful version of “Hands”
found @ 12291 likes ON 2018-01-02 23:09:44 BY ME.ME