18  January  Posted by admin
3

Letter from the Gatekeeper

Hello Friends,

golden-gate-bridge-wallpapers_3744_1600A few weeks ago I received a letter. It began, “Hello, my name is Kevin Briggs, I am a Sergeant with the California Highway Patrol.” I got chills. My song Gatekeeper had finally found its way to the man who inspired it so many years before.

In 2003 I read an article in the New Yorker about the Golden Gate bridge for which Kevin was interviewed. At that point, he had saved 200 people from jumping off the bridge. When asked how, he said humbly, “I ask them two questions: How are you feeling? What are your plans for tomorrow?”

That interview made a profound impression on me. I wrote the song and began to tell his story. Years later, when I reached my own darkest hour his words and the song guided me through, like this gift I had sent into the future for myself. In recent years, as many of you know, the song and his story have featured prominently in the mental health advocacy work that I do.

Here is a link to a new video of Kevin. When this went public, someone in his office found my song and brought it to him.

Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge

He is every bit the humble guardian angel I imagined. I calculated he’s saved well over 500 lives. In the video they asked one man why he didn’t jump. He said, “Kevin just wouldn’t give up on me.” Kevin stayed on the bridge with him for seven hours through the night.

Life is hard. We often have no idea the kind of private pain the people around us are battling. It is up to all of us to be Gatekeepers, in small ways, for ourselves and the people around us. This is such a reminder to me of the tremendous power that being truly present to each other can have.
Warmest wishes in the new year and hope to see you soon.
– m

 

Meg - Book CoverMeg’s new book of poems “The Morning I Was Born”

now available!

Click here to order at MegHutchinson.com!

 

UPCOMING SHOWS

Thursday, January 24th at 7pm
Iron Horse Music Hall
20 Center St.
Northampton, MA 10160
(413) 586-8686 or Click here for more info
$12.50/$15
Friday, January 25th at 7:10pm

The Falcon
197 Old Post Rd.
Marlboro, NY 12542
(845) 546-0444 or Click here for more info
Suggested Donnation

Saturday, January 26th at 7:30pm
Common Ground Coffeehouse
25 Old Jackson Ave.
Hastings on Hudson, NY 10502
(914) 693-1065 or Click here for more info
$15/18

Wednesday, January 30th at 8:00pm
318 Cafe
318 Water St.
Excelsior, MN 55331
(952) 401-7902 or Click here for more info
$11

Thursday, January 31st at 8:30pm
Redamte Cafe
449 State St. 2nd Floor
Madison, WI 53703
(800) 514-ETIX or Click here for more info
$12 / $14

Friday, February 1st at 8:00pm
Opening for Shawn Colvin
Evanston SPACE
1245 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL
(847) 492-8860 or Click here for more info
$38 to $78 (Reservations Required)

Saturday, February 2nd at 7:30pm
WI Singer Songwriter Series
North 13800 N. Port Washington Rd.
Mequon, WI
(262) 284-9777 or Click here for more info
$14 / $17

Sunday, February 3rd at 7:00pm
CSPS
1103 3rd St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
(319) 364-1580 or Click here for more info
$12 to $15

Monday, February 4th at 8:00pm
Papa Charlies
Eagle Ridge Resort at Lutsen Mountain
Lutsen, MN
(800) 360-ROOM or Click here for more info
$12 to $15

Saturday, February 16th at 8:00pm
Walsh’s Country Store
107 Main St.
Falls Village, CT
(860) 824-9833
$20

More info about these and other future dates at MegHutchinson.com/calendar >>

3 comments on “Letter from the Gatekeeper”

  1. Kathy Reply

    Meg,

    I was so happy to see/read this! That is so cool that you heard from Kevin and that Kevin found out about your song!

    I first heard your interview on NPR with Bob Edwards back in March 2010 and in September 2011 wrote a post on my blog, during Suicide Prevention Week, about Kevin and your stories related to Gatekeeping: http://bereavedandblessed.com/2011/09/gatekeepers/

    After two of my loved ones took their own lives in 2011, in January 2012 I ended up starting a regular series on my blog called Gatekeeping: http://bereavedandblessed.com/category/gatekeeping/

    I haven’t posted a “Gatekeeping” blog entry on my blog in over six months and coming across this reminded me how these “little things” can make a big difference in others’ lives. I intended to post another a new one by the end of the day and wanted to thank you for your music, especially your Gatekeepers song, and all you do “every day, in ordinary ways, (to) hold each other on, (to) keep each other here.”

    Take care,
    Kathy

  2. David Kreger Reply

    Hi Meg –

    I’ve listened to your interview with Bob Edwards and later the one with Kevin Briggs, and I was so taken each time with Kevin’s goodness and attitude, as I am with the song. “Gatekeeper” is simple, yet stunning in its magnetism and wisdom. The bridge of this song has become a wonderful mantra in my heart for how we need to live together (I tweaked the second line a bit, not to change or improve upon your lyrics, but to connect with personal experiences and hopes):
    “Maybe every day, in ordinary ways, we hold each other on, we keep each other here.
    Maybe every day, in very simple ways, we hold each other up, we keep each other near.”
    This song, like many of your others, demonstrates your sensitivity and powers of observation and contemplation…and your joy in digging deeper into life going on around us. Thanks so much Meg for writing and singing what we feel, but cannot express. As you said, we can never know all the pain and difficulty people are going through around us, but we CAN be observant and willing to share ourselves to help someone going through the darkness we all experience at one time of another.

    – David

    Thanks so much for

  3. Evie Reply

    First off I would like to say excellent blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to
    writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or hints? Cheers!

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