8.13.2006

Saint Paisley of Austin

Every once in a while I'm pleasantly reminded of the exalted state of iconoclasticism some of my friends have reached. One such is Paisley Robertson, long-time fixture in the Austin music and social culture. Paisley was born and raised in Denton, Texas, spent time in Brattleboro, VT, Mexico, and goddess knows which points between, but has spent most of her life here in Austin, Texas as a rock 'n roll singer and waitperson to the rich and famous. Paisley is also a member of the Lady Diana Garden Club, those ubiquitous women who swim in tiaras every New Year's Day at Barton Springs, among other social (ad)ventures.

Paisley supports a bevy of artists and musicians in a number of ways, and has introduced me to some of the more eclectic members of Austin society, both high, medium, low, and fringe. It was at Westwinds, her renovated barn/estate in central Austin, for a Texas Independence Day celebration, when I first met Molly Ivins, one of my sheroes.

I've known Paisley since I was nineteen and she was seventeen, back in 1965, Denton Texas. So I don't think she'll mind if I share an e-mail post she sent this morning. I'll just add my own fervent "Amen."

Subject: Ste. Paisley's Prayer,

Not much is known about Saint Paisley.
We know that she is/was the patron saint of napping and road trips (and some believe of aging gracefully and comfort food). A rare small iconic picture of her in rapture has surfaced .
Recently (on ebay) I bought an old menu from the Juicy Pig Restaurant in Denton Texas. The Juicy Pig was torn down in 1969. On the back written in pencil (next to the description of 'susie-q' fries) was the following prayer: (stand up and put your hands on the radio and say I BELIEVE!)

A PRAYER
LORD, THOU KNOWEST BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF, THAT I AM GROWING OLDER AND WILL SOMEDAY BE OLD.

KEEP ME FROM GETTING TALKATIVE, AND THINKING I MUST SAY SOMETHING ON EVERY SUBJECT AND ON EVERY OCCASION.

RELEASE ME FROM CRAVING TO STRAIGHTEN OUT EVERYBODY'S AFFAIRS. MAKE ME THOUGHTFUL BUT NOT MOODY, HELPFUL BUT NOT BOSSY.

WITH MY VAST STORE OF WISDOM, IT SEEMS A PITY NOT TO USE IT ALL........ BUT THOU KNOWEST, LORD, THAT I WANT A FEW FRIENDS AT THE END.

KEEP MY MIND FREE FROM THE RECITAL OF ENDLESS DETAILS. GIVE ME WINGS TO GET TO THE POINT.

SEAL MY LIPS ON MY MANY ACHES AND PAINS.......THEY ARE INCREASING....AND MY LOVE OF REHEARSING THEM IS BECOMING SWEETER AS THE YEARS GO BY. I ASK FOR GRACE ENOUGH TO LISTEN TO THE TALES OF OTHERS PAINS. HELP ME TO ENDURE THEM WITH PATIENCE.

TEACH ME THE GLORIOUS LESSON THAT OCCASIONALLY IT IS POSSIBLE THAT I MAY BE MISTAKEN.

KEEP ME REASONABLY SWEET. I DO NOT WANT TO BE A SAINT, SOME OF THEM ARE SO HARD TO LIVE WITH, BUT A SOUR OLD PERSON IS ONE OF THE CROWNING WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

HELP ME TO EXTRACT ALL POSSIBLE FUN OUT OF LIFE. THERE ARE SO MANY FUNNY THINGS AROUND US.....AND I DON'T WANT TO MISS ANY OF THEM.

AMEN
STE. Paisley

7 comments:

Diane said...

I can't believe I'm the only one that has commented on this wonderful piece about getting older. I really need to control my mouth. Sometimes it is my greatest asset, sometimes my greatest ass. You know what I mean. Going through Menopause has been one of my greatest accomplishments; although I am not through with it yet I feel honored that I haven't killed anyone yet! How to you get to become a member to this BLOG? Looks like I might fit in. I write quite a bit on www.writing.com. Also, I'm 51 and full of stories.
Diane

no milk said...

this is a wonderful prayer. it's always good to keep things in perspective and this prayer is a reminder of that. i have been contemplating aging as well and this is a good piece to read. cheers!

kokopelliwoman said...

Diane, GO for it. Do whatever you have to do, but write a little something every time you can. Gather everything you've written up til now and organize it. Get a little notebook that you can carry around with you so you can record thoughts or fragments or just words as they occur. Just write. Read "Writing Down the Bones," and other books on writing, but always write yourself.

Milk, the best is yet to come! There are freedoms and interior growth that accrue with aging that you can look forward to. I think writing can bring self-awareness that will help you enjoy the process. I love your writing voice--it's warm and funny and showing many signs of that self-awareness. Keep it up!

stitchwitch said...

Claudia,

I love this prayer. I'm going to print it out and laminate it and put it on my refrigerator to read every day. I met you at Cindy Chang's birthday party, and she gave me this link, because she knew how much I would enjoy it.

Diane, I laughed at the greatest asset, greatest ass comment. Keep writing. I'm also going through menopause and also a divorce. I haven't killed anyone yet, either, but the day is still early!

Sandy

Moxy Jane said...

As a woman just turned 34, the voices of women a few years ahead of me bring me such comfort and support and guidance. I truly treasure your reminders of the passages of our lives, the giving and the taking, the pains and the joys, the hates and the loves.

I could pray this prayer about the ME NOW..."help me to extract all possible fun out of life. There are so many funny things around us...and I don't want to miss any of them."

AMEN!!!

Thanks for sharing!

cchang said...

Fantastic prayer...so many good points to remember. This is my favorite part:
MAKE ME THOUGHTFUL BUT NOT MOODY, HELPFUL BUT NOT BOSSY.

WITH MY VAST STORE OF WISDOM, IT SEEMS A PITY NOT TO USE IT ALL........ BUT THOU KNOWEST, LORD, THAT I WANT A FEW FRIENDS AT THE END.


I needed to remember that this morning!

princess said...

This prayer is just what I needed! Had a great time perusing your postings. Thanks for sharing.