In my mid teens I stumbled upon “This is The Sea.“ This was a golden time for me. I was happy, was capable academically, more than capable in the visual arts, had a band we called “The Eleven Long Haired Friends of Jesus” and everything was rolling for me. Then when I hit seventeen everything changed and I stumbled upon the curse of depression. It was very serious. When I was nineteen I decided I would end it all along the cliffs of the Aran Islands but first wanted to try and meet you and thank you for your music – when I would listen I would be, temporarily, taken back to that golden period when I had the world in my hands.
My trip to Europe ended with a broken leg and without finding you (you were actually touring at the time and I was more or less stuck on a Contiki Tour). My journey took me toward Galway and I had just gotten off a ride with a truck driver who left me a half-hour outside Galway along a stretch of highway at around midnight. Someone saw me along side the road and pulled over. He offered to drive me into Galway and I was lucky for the ride. He told me his tale, which was one of alcoholism and his long journey out of that self imposed torment. I honestly didn’t think that much about the man. That he was a recovered alcoholic I saw as a weakness. At any rate, the hostels were all closed and he offered me a place to sleep. I agreed, thankful for a place to stay. When I met his wife and daughter I realized what an enormous mistake I had made, and how rich and fortunate this man was. His wife was beautiful and his daughter was an eight-year-old absolute gift. At first his wife was very reluctant to house a traveller but I stayed and the next day she warmed up and asked me if I wanted to spend another night. I, of course, said “sure”.
I went to have a shower and saw, in the bathroom, a large framed poster. I knew at that moment why I was lead to Galway. I had no doubt. I must stress that. No doubt before I read it. Anyway the text on this poster was about a man who walked in the sand along side of God, his companion. In the sky were times, periods, of his life. The man noticed that during the easy times he walked along side God and there were two sets of footprints, but during the desperate times, when there was no shelter, there was only one set of footprints. He asked God why he would abandon him during the difficult periods of his life when there was only one set of footprints and God said: “my child, I would never leave you. There is only one set of foot prints because it is there that I carried you.” God spoke to me from a stranger’s bathroom! I guess it can happen anywhere!
But I never gave up trying to contact you and it was a couple of years past my trip that I met a friend, of a friend, of a friend. She was out of Ireland and I asked if she was a Waterboys fan and she said that it was funny because “Mike Scott lives on my street”. WHAT? It is that kind of synchronicity that pops up in my life and I consider them guide markers that let me know I am on the right path. Anyway I have tried to be as concise as possible. This is my story.
Always a Waterboy,