How to Make a Paper Airplane

There is a new album out that I think is a very good listen. I should know; I’ve heard it about a dozen times. It How to Make a Paper Airplane by Andy Zipf.

Andy Zipf has hit the nail on the head with this album. It speaks to me on several levels and pulls on some heartstrings along the way. I’ll give you a few of the most striking examples. The whole album is good, but a few songs stand out above the others, for me at least.

The opening track had me just by reading the title. Everything is Fine. I’m ok. How Are You? There was no waiting period, no playing it ten times trying to find an angle. I have been struggling lately over the fact that I don’t have a friend. I have dozens of “friends” on Facebook, but I don’t have a friend in the physical form. I recently heard the title track from the sitcom Cheers, which ties into the same vein as Everything is Fine. I’m ok. How Are You?

From Cheers:

“Making your way in the world today takes

Everything you’ve got. 

Taking a break from all your worries

sure would help a lot. 

Wouldn’t you like to getaway? 

Sometimes you want to go 

Where everybody knows your name, 

and they’re always glad you came.

I have recently been lamenting that I don’t have friends like the ones in Cheers. I don’t miss the bar scene where Cheers happened and where everybody knew my name. And where they were glad I came there. I long for that genuine friendship. Perhaps post-Covid, I can find some of that friendship again, without the beer this time!

Let’s get back to Andy Zipf and the title track. Everything is fine. I’m ok.

How are you?

Everything is fine. I’m ok.

How are you?

Oh, you know. Cant’ complain.

I’m all right. Fair to middling.

It was so good running into you.

Yes, it was. Let’s hang soon.

Take care, man.

(But what I really want to say

is that I’m lost

I don’t know who I am anymore

I’m fallin’)

Everything is fine.

Everything is fine.

We lie to ourselves that everything is fine. We lie to others, or at least we withhold the truth.

Everything is not fine. I hurt. I hurt emotionally. I hurt physically. Everything is not fine.

I really wanna scream out loud.

What have you been doing with your life?

I gotta get myself together man.

I could write a thesis on the difference between friends and acquaintances. I want to scream out that everything is not fine. Everything is not ok. I have stuff going on, and I am sure you do too, so let’s get real, how are you doing? An acquaintance from the past used to ask a loaded question that cut through the b.s. He would ask, “how is your heart?” Let’s move on to another track.

Hey There, Dragonfly is a great tune that touches upon taking the time to see the glory in the details that are always around us, but we seldom notice. The song also has this great line:

talk to my ego

tell him to let go

of what he has not done yet

and the anchor of regret

We do not have any control over two things in life. One is the future, what we have not done yet. Shit is gonna happen; let go of it.

The second thing is the past and the anchor of regret over what we did not do. Or the anchor of regret over what we did do. We can’t change the past; let go of it. Talk to my ego, tell him to let go.

Next up is some gut-level music. (Altar Boys, you should give it a spin.)

It’s hard to pray anymore is a chapter out of my book of life. It’s not just hard to pray anymore. I don’t pray at all anymore.

It’s Hard To Pray Anymore

I’d ask the Lord for some peace in my heart,

but I don’t pray anymore

twenty-third Psalm

I shall not want

I just want to be counted

I can’t say out loud that I’m broken

I’d ask the Lord for some peace in my heart,

but I don’t pray anymore

now I’m forced to remember

I ain’t gonna get all the answers

I’d ask the Lord

for a pillar of fire, but I don’t pray anymore

It’s hard to pray anymore

To me, this is a power-packed song from a powerful album. Several years ago, I walked away from my life as an evangelical pastor, and I don’t pray anymore. I would also add that I don’t have all the answers. When it comes right down to the brass tacks, I have precious few answers. And when I look at the world around me, I’d ask the Lord for a pillar of fire, but I don’t pray anymore.

I will elucidate on just one more track from How to Make a Paper AirplaneYou Won’t Need Your Glasses Anymore. This song chokes me up. My Dad passed away, and this song hits so many memories that it could have been written about my Dad and me. The last night that I spent with him, I whispered in his ear that I was letting go of him, and it was ok with me if he let go. He did let go twenty-four hours later. I guess Dad won’t need his glasses anymore. Pass the Kleenex, please.

This album is full of moments that took my breath away. There were moments of endearment that put a smile in my heart, such as the title track, How to Make a Paper Airplane. And then there are moments of beautiful pain that gave me pause to stop and mull it over. There is a quote that I like, it has been attributed to several people, and it goes like this. “Music is the silence between the notes.” I had to pause between songs on this album to let the words sink in, to let the music speak between the notes, much like taking the time to notice a dragonfly.

I won’t unpack anymore of the songs on How to Make a Paper Airplane. You can listen for yourself. I hope it gives you as much pleasure as it gave me.

The entire album is out on these platforms:

Spotify

YouTube

Apple Music

SoundCloud

TIDAL

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