There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I’m falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
“Whoa, so this is what she means”
She means we’re bouncing into Graceland
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Well, everybody sees you’re blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

Paul Simon

Whenever I hear Simon sing that iconic song I am momentarily paused by his enunciation at the point:

whoa, so this is what she means

As my interpretation of the lyric is the she to which he refers, is the one who calls herself “The human trampoline“.

To me it is lyrically and existentially an “Ah ha moment within an Ah ha moment”

I see Simon paused in reflection at some particularly challenging moment contemplating his options.

He wrote and sings not of the pain of “losing love” but rather what the experience was like.

Interestingly, he speaks of the position of what he sees losing love is like and refers to it from almost an observers perspective. Which BTW is the perspective from where all stories and all experience is shared, I guess.

When we then, as third party listeners, observe Simon’s own third person’s view, we are instantly able to connect with the song because we are capable of understanding the perspective.

For who among us has never had the view of our lives where we witnessed oursleves “Falling and Flying” ?

And isn’t it almost always at that moment when we imagine “Everybody can see you’re blown apart“?

Yes … and no.

For sure, we have all had moments of pause, be they joy or grief, where we sat back and looked at our “selves” and not experienced that perspective of:

“WTF! This is not how I imagined….”

However our feeling that these moments only occur when the future hits the present is simply also a matter of perspective.

Perhaps our real fear is that we are most exposed and “vulnerable” when we are unaware of something.

None of us likes to look stupid.

It’s as if appearing out of control will almost certainly manifest our worst fears.

I understand where this comes from…its in the fiber of our DNA.

These fears are deeply rooted in our evolution of our species to appearing out of control.

Think back to the days of yore when the need for environmental control was of primary benefit at the dawn of our species. Back then we needed to make sure we avoided certain mistakes that would ultimately result in really icky shit.

The idea that we lost “control” or even full awareness of our surroundings made us very much vulnerable to a bigger meaner and hungrier creature that was looking to make “a menu of one”.

However, the value we place on “all knowing” today is creating a pesky little subculture wherein we are seeing interlopers who “Know a little about everything giving the impression of knowing “a lot”.

They bamboozle us with the idea that if you know a lot about everything you are much less likely to be vulnerable at any given point in any given situation right?

Maybe…and No

What about the knowledge of experience? What about the divining rod of intuition? And how about grace?

One act of grace is the experience where tremendous pain and challenge serves to dispel the idea of limitations. Inspiring us beyond past challenges to greatness beyond even previously imagined boundaries. Which enriches one with both intuition and experience.

Grace has the opportunity to occur when we witness our lives from the perspective of the Observer/ Narrator … we actually are aware of where we are.

Aware when when we achieve our dreams and aware when we fall short but grace is also present when we experience something we never imagined.

In all of these moments of grace we are given the choice to witness it.

Whether discomfort or bliss exists it will always be best experienced from the perspective of the viewer. In that from that perch we can observe and learn how often we far surpass our limits physically, mentally and emotionally when we truly surrender ourselves to the experience rather than the outcome.

Even further it is from that perspective, that each gut wrenching heartbreak we wake up feeling, every consecutive 2 week pay period that you just can’t quite make ends meet, every hangover we endure, we can have a moment to see “our selves” facing a new day.

Which surfaces my question… Is it grace that provides the moment that we marvel at our ability to rise once again?

Isn’t it at the precise moment when we realize “ouch, I bloody well woke up again with this issue“,that we have a momentary reprieve to view ourselves. When WE are not consumed in the issue, can we not see ourselves from the place of observation concluding “I’m here again“.

With that moment I am Graced with an opportunity to take a different view and perhaps ultimately a different response to the issue.

Consider the fact that if I find myself aware that “I” am aware that, my head is pounding and my mouth feels like ashtray sand, actually means by extension that “I” survived to witness the aftermath of this particular train-wreck and that if I don’t limit my view to that of of the “suffering fool” I just may have the opportunity to choose from what perspective I want to view the next moment. Assuming, my arms are not still wrapped around porcelain at that moment.

All of which reminds me that when I shift my view from what is happening to me to what I am witnessing, I have seated myself next to Paul Simon on my way to Graceland, which is a very cool ride.

What did “HE” do next ?

I remember as a kid we were inspired by a “Voice Over” style of TV show where the Narrator seems to be watching the same story unfold from the benefit of a different view. Unheard by the characters, the Narrator is free to make observations without impact or consequence on the story .

So my close friends and I thought this was cool and begun narrating every aspect of our stories in the third person…

Donald is such a cool guy” said Don, to which Richard replied;

He would be a radical, way cool guy if he made Richard, a grill cheese sandwich, try

Ya …the language of youth is often peppered with a vernacular incomprehensible to the traditional interpretation.

Or put more succinctly:

Ya … we had a heavy nerd quotient.

I was thinking of this bizarre ritual the other day, when considering how sometimes we see stuff happening in our very own lives, that looks like it is appearing on a screen before us.

Sometimes it feels like witnessing our lives in the third person .

And it just may be from that very perspective, is a place from where some of my best work comes.

In that place I become surgeon like.

I am not drawn down the rabbit hole of my emotional judgement surrounding any given experience .

Consider an event that evokes an emotional response for example.

The third person view allows one the opportunity to reflect on, not only the sensation of the pain experience itself but also where and perhaps even why the pain exists.

It affords the “Watcher/Narrator” the view to identify the underlying perceived threat that is at the source of the pain at the surface, and therein really provides the opportunity to grow or heal.

But, just like the TV show of my youth, growth and healing only happen when the noise of Narrator’s negative observations are muted to the main character.

Another bonus of taking the third person view with me when I go into an emotionally charged experience, is that from the seat of the Narrator, the observed me can first express himself freely, albeit silently, without the threat of manifesting any negative consequences in the world directly in front of me.

Wait … what?

Only our actions – Reactions– to any given circumstance- are our ways to manifest our thoughts into the real world.

Imagine this scene: It’s Wednesday afternoon there are people around a boardroom table, you pitch an idea, for some as yet, unclear reason someone laughs, you feel the flush in your cheeks that usually signals “ someone’s about to be ripped a new one


this time….

From the snipers view, the Narrator intercedes and gently places a question in the your mind:

Why is that guy across the table making your blood boil in beneath your suit… I mean what magical power over you does he possess?” The Narrator questions above unfurling scene in the boardroom.

If I. can manage to be aware and consider that question, from the grassy knoll view, for a moment, I will have necessarily lifted my finger from the hair trigger emotion precisely prior to manifesting my own possible misinterpretation of the laughter.

For the possibility of manifesting our minds misinterpretations into real actions in the world around us, occurs only when emotion lures all our available resources to the scene … will, strength, power, and focus to rally us into action.

Action which is all too often summoned to the scene to combat some romanticized transgression which almost certainly lurks in the past or awaits in the future,

By assuming the less Trumpian position of “a fly on the wall” and viewing the experience from the third person, one actually has the power of viewing and considering all the players and options and thus really being the “best deal maker ever!”

Conversely when we allow emotion to draw us further into an issue we are succumbing to the beauty of a painting by Monet.

Because we cannot help but see our own emotion in the most poignant or gripping color schemes all with the soundtrack of our most heart touching musicians.

Where we are the artist.

By nature … our very own nature… we are seduced deeper into the story our emotions want to tell us, using our very selves as the illustrator and narrator.

And the story will without question occur in one of two places ..the past or the Future

It is incredibly hard to resist our own emotions as once drawn in slightly we become further engaged in the problem and slip further down the rabbit hole of emotion into a completely self absorbed view.

This is not to say that “pain does not appear in life” or that “life’s challenges should never make us emotional.”


The idea is that the less time we spend in problems and pain, the more time we can spend in other parts of life that we perceive as joyous.

However this is not advocating rushing through problems with a stopwatch.

Problems are really opportunities to learn and there is no way to sustainably accelerate the passage of time in any one persons life, so why set the KPI solely on problem processing time.

For example ineffective conflict resolution does not address the conflict it focuses on the damage caused.

So here we find ourselves … doing our best work from the seat of detached observation while simultaneously we are seduced into life’s distractions by the very best temptress our minds can create

As stated earlier the Key Performance Indicator should not be problem solution time alone .

But rather considering solution time as a function of growth experienced, would yield a better measuring stick.

The slowest thing about problem solving is our resistance to acknowledging the problem and that can only come from the third person view.

The weird and quirky view of freedom through the perspective of youth.

And so he started his day …