Thursday, October 27, 2011

This is not about Music

Life is a lot like a set list. You hammer it out with your friends, coming to grips with what you think will or won't sound good to those listening, and then you go out and do it.

Most of the time the first song is OK. There might be a few hiccups in the road but you muscle on through. You know you're not quite up to hitting those high notes or slamming that down beat hammer, but it's all good. You can fake your way through the hard parts. Sure enough, by the fifth tune, you're in your groove. You know exactly where this show is going to go.

Eventually you hit the intermission. Nobody ever wants to hit an intermission but we all expect it. People need a bit of a break, as it were.

When you start the second half of the set it all seems so foreign. Alien, even. The oscillation isn't quite oscillating as you intended. The waves are crashing more than they are flowing. It's a bitch.

You chalk it up to the fact that you're playing someone else's shit. If you were playing your own, well, you'd probably be just fine. That's how you rationalize it. It's uncomfortable. It's a bit annoying. It's embarrassing to say the least.

Then it hits you. You might be playing someone else's shit... but you're the one playing it. That makes it your shit for that brief moment in time. See, people don't really care who they see singing what they want to hear. They only care that what they hear sounds like who they want to see singing.

It's in that moment that you give every ounce of yourself to make it worthy of a smile. Ears fade. Thoughts fade. Smiles linger.

You just make sure you realize that when the stage goes dark and when all the pretty women & men have gone home, the only sibling left to the ringing in your ears is the gentle acceptance that for once, and possibly, the only time in your life... you played.

It's your show in the end. Make it a good one.

This is not about Music.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Breath & A Memory

For the first 34 years of my life I was obsessed with Things. I wanted to acquire them. I wanted to own them. I wanted to present them to anyone who might want to question whether I had any Thing.

I worked so hard to make money so that I could spend that money and populate my life with the possessions that money bought me. I upgraded from a trailer to a small house and then to a bigger house. I put as many things as I could into each. I stuffed those homes full with all I could. I choked them.

When you two came along, I doubled my efforts. I acquired as much as I could. I put every toy available into your rooms. I put every color I could imagine on your walls. I put every article of clothing that was fashionable on your bodies.

"Fashionable". I'm so very ashamed of that now.

When the world turned to shit and I knew that my life had not only hit a speed bump, but that the speed bump I'd hit had indeed dislodged my ride from the road, I gave it all away.

All of the furniture, all of the clothing, all of the toys left behind. Even that big house. I gave it all Away.

Looking back, I could have made so much money by selling those things. I could have secured myself with a better foundation for the "beginning again" that I was to endure. Yes, I could have done that.

I'm so glad I did not.

I've never owned anything I wasn't willing to part with and not lose sleep over having done so, since then. The true irony though is that we never really own anything. It's all just fodder. It's all just placement. It's all just distraction. It's all a mirage.

The only things you truly own are a breath and memory. The last two possessions you'll ever hold in this Thing we call life.

The last two possessions worth having at all.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flower Pot

I don't have a picture to post. I think she frowns upon that.

Whenever I feel like the world is getting too big, too small, or too much somewhere in between, I always step out on the front stoop.

I do so because I know that She'll always climb out of her flower pot and serpentine between my legs until I feel like the world is just about the right size again.

I can't say I really like cats.

But I Love Cali.

You can learn a lot from a cat in a flower pot.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


When I first moved to your hometown, I was an alien.

I didn't know where I was, where I was going, or where I might end up. But I did know who I was and what I could do.

It used to piss your Mom off so much, but long before you two were born I would talk her into taking rides with me every Saturday morning. Long rides into wherever we ended up. Journeys.

She always told me I was insane. She was probably right.

We would get in the truck and follow asphalt. It really didn't matter where it led nor where it intended to lead us. We would find roads, lanes, valleys, highways, anything really. We would just drive.

I especially loved it in the Fall. With the windows down and the early morning sun snaking its way across the road, it always felt like goodness. Seeing people living their lives in their front yards. Getting stuck behind an old farmer on his tractor who waved at you when you sped up to pass him on a straight stretch. These were, are still, and will forever be... good things.

I've always done that. I still do. I always will.

I'll tell you a secret that most folks would never admit... sometimes you have to get lost to figure out where in the hell you actually are.

Always go and find where you're going. Never wait for where you're going to come and find where you are.

It helps to be lost, actually. So get there.