For approximately half of humankind the act of relieving themselves of excess liquid is an entirely indoor affair. I happen to be of the male variety of my glorious species homo sapiens, so the world is my oyster (and by oyster I mean ‘thing I can pee on’). Today is Wednesday, January 20th, in the […]
For approximately half of humankind the act of relieving themselves of excess liquid is an entirely indoor affair. I happen to be of the male variety of my glorious species homo sapiens, so the world is my oyster (and by oyster I mean ‘thing I can pee on’).
Today is Wednesday, January 20th, in the Year of Our Lord 2021, which doesn’t mean much if you’re from another planet, galaxy, or whatever. But for most of us human beings that means that today at noon (when the sun was mostly over head) a guy named Joe Biden replaced a guy named Donald Trump as Ultimate Supreme Leader of All That Really Matters on This Planet™ and it was something of significance, at least within the timelines of our lives, meaning the lives of the people currently living. I don’t expect you (whomandwheneveryouare) to understand this, because honestly I’m not sure any of us beings currently existing really understands it. But I do think that for our present timeline these events are a thing of significance.
Most days that you are alive (and I’m being descriptive, not prescriptive) the days just feel like every other day. But on rare occasions some days will feel like they are a bit more, like somehow the day really will end up having more value than the other days. I don’t know why or when or how these days come to be having more oomph than the others, but they do. History somehow provides us at random with days of seemingly more significance than the ordinary days that mark our regular passage of time. These extra-ordinary days that mark the fleeting days of our lives somehow come to define us.
I know exactly where I was on 9/11. I remember so many details about that day. But the day after? No clue. That was just 9/12, another ordinary day.
The Christian liturgical calendar of Western and Eastern traditions marks days between Resurrection Sunday (“Easter,” as I knew it in my Methodist upbringing) and Christmas as the ordinary days. The term “ordinary” doesn’t mean what we commonly understand it to mean. This term “ordinary” is understood today as “boring, common, or totally to be expected.” But in liturgical context it means something like “counted,” meaning “these are the days we count until the next event of major significance.”
Many days of our lives are insignificant. But some days are not. 9/11 certainly is a day that a lot of humans will count as significant. 9/10 and 9/12 are way less significant for most of us.
But today, January 20th of 2021, the year of our Lord Jesus Christ and/or the Common Era (a debate in itself), was certainly a day that was significant in the big story of homo sapiens regardless of what specific part of planet Earth those homo sapiens called home.
Tonight, like many nights, I stepped outside to relieve myself of excess liquid. I do this regularly, equally to save the environment of yet another flush and to feel connected to the earth from which I know I have come and one day will return. The backdoor is also closer than the bathroom, so laziness prevails.
Regardless, as I stood pissing in the moonlight on the eve of A SIGNIFICANT DAY, I couldn’t help but feel like none of it mattered.
Yes, in real day-to-day terms it really does matter who the Big Dude at the top of this pile of excrement is.
But I also felt the long term insignificance of the New Guy and the Old Guy as I gazed up at the really old guy Orion whilst relieving myself of that-which-I-can-no-longer-contain.
I’m not even sure what the point of this writing is about. I only know how freeing it is to look up at the night sky and know that for countless ages our species has looked to the night sky while relieving themselves and thought, “Ahhhh, whatever.”
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a bit of philosophical wax
The strain of coronavirus now plaguing our world is more contagious than most understand. Our minds aren’t built to grasp exponentials. The math of this virus does not favor the desires of the human heart for social interaction and the need to continue life as we know it. Isolation is very hard, despite how dreamily utopian introverts may describe it.
Few of us have the resources, patience, or diligence to wait it out. Our leaders are obviously not great at leading us, and yet most of us are still waiting for them to show us the way before we take action. Their incompetence and our subservience will lead us to destruction. We need another way.
Sadly, the misdirection and misinformation will continue.
The immediate effects of the virus (the sickness, the dying, the isolation, the worry, the fear of each other) certainly will last well into late 2020, if not 2021. But the economic, social, and political repercussions will echo for much longer than that. Millions will die, then a great depression will come. We will have no other option than to rethink what this world is and what this life should be.
And yet I am hopeful.
think know that the generous, beautiful, creative, anticipatory, unshaken, non-idle minds among us will turn inward to self-examine, find new meaning, develop methods, find the paths forward, and churn out new works to benefit their own being. But the fruit will not be simply to fill their own pockets. From the outset, these gems among the masses will know and act from the postion that the fruit of such diligent and relentlessly hopeful pursuit will spill over the rims of their own cups to inspire, engage, encourage, and challenge those around them that may have lost hope or can no longer see the way. Soon (in big picture sense of time) we will reap the harvest of great works of art, literature, music, and thought. Answers will emerge from this time of correction. They’ll come out of necessity, but with no less passion. Perhaps even more so.
Do not give up heart. Plant a garden, expect a harvest. Double down and reinvest in the soil of your own heart and mind knowing that your endeavors will better the lives of others. Dig deep and resolve to be a beacon of hope, self-reliance, exponential good, unselfish abundance, and goodwill to others when all around you the world may fall away.
A bee only happens to pollinate the flowers while in search of its own sustenance. Seek life and you will find it and you will give it to others.
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For a list of people I am officially associated with, please click here.
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These are my reflections after seeing an artistic incident.
In a most fortunate series of events I was able to see Counting Crows, Līve, and Boom Forest perform in Hartford, Connecticut for free last night. And despite the show being hosted at a huge corporate venue (as all things tend to be once enough people show enough interest), the show seriously reaffirmed many THINGS for me.
A few of those THINGS are:
- why I do music
- what makes me loves music
- why I write music the way I do
- what I hope to hear in every song
- how I hear melody
- how I hear instrumentation
- what I believe a song can accomplish
- what the world needs
- what I can do to help
- why good band dynamics are so important
- there are kids (of all ages) out there that will always need encouragement, goading, sympathy, reminders, or some sort of whatever-“RESONANCE”-means-to-you to give them enough hope, vision, courage, bliss, distraction, fear, fuck-it, or tears to face another day, another challenge, another impossible life to overcome (or at least to survive and commiserate with the realities of life).
A huge part of what makes me who I am musically (and probably life-ly) is due to what I learned from listening to the recordings of the frontmen Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ed Kowalczyk (Līve). These guys have come to life from different directions, but both are virtuoso lyricists, vocalists, and performers with tremendous insight. They had immeasurable impact upon my informal path to learning and understanding of the effort, energy, and emphasis that good music requires of the singer/songwriter, demands of the listener/thinker, and begs of the disengaged/disingenuous. I cannot overstate the profundity their efforts have infected and hovered over my own work.
HIGH ART can often feel unachievable. It is truly difficult to achieve, but I find myself continually returning to those works that wreck me most and they are the most basic of forms. The simplest words are the most profound.
When Līve performed their relatively non-hit, but surprisingly prescient song “White, Discussion” (especially when considering the current U.S. presidential administration), Ed Kowalczyk offered this statement:
“I just want to turn off all the news and listen to rock and roll for the rest of my life.” — Ed Kowalczyk, Hartford, Connecticut, August 15, 2018
And though that sentiment may seem childish or dismissible at face value, it reminds me of why I began investing in music in the first place. We are humans and we are bigger than than the circumstances we happen to find ourselves landing in. The news is worth shutting off. It is designed to make us reel, react, and regurgitate. Instead we should revolt, reinvent, reset, and remind each other of why and how we should live.
I remind you…as I am reminded…as I remind myself…
If anything without love rules you, overthrow it.
If anyone acts as though they are above you, remind them how the “Lightning Crashes”.
If any task seems too hard to start, to endure, or to end, return to the beautifully complicated truth of “Anna Begins”.
And as always, “If Ever In Doubt”…
But blogs are blogs. Blah, blah, blah, blogs. And as “White, Discussion” sums it up:
“Look where all this talking got us, baby”
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The following paragraphs are from an entry in my journal on June 14, 2008, which I am posting it here as a public reminder to myself. The great problems of the world are not the result of the actions of an easily-fingered cast of evil-doers, but by the failing of average everyday folks like me […]
The following paragraphs are from an entry in my journal on June 14, 2008, which I am posting it here as a public reminder to myself.
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The great problems of the world are not the result of the actions of an easily-fingered cast of evil-doers, but by the failing of average everyday folks like me to imagine anything different than the current set of circumstances. We grossly mistake the root of our troubles by demonizing a select few, whose ignoble traits are glaringly obvious, and which conveniently distract attention from our less conspicuous, yet equally ugly inclinations.
If we only dared to believe that life could be different and then acted on that very realistic hope. Though life’s grinding would not cease, its sting could be lessened or alleviated. Whether it be for the fear of change, love of the status quo, a lack of imagination, care, or hope, the problem lies within us, not outside.
If we wish to get better, this is how we must diagnose and treat the disease which afflicts us all: by believing that it must be fought and then continually conquered in our own hearts, minds, and spirits first.
Maybe this is the entire war? Perhaps the conflict is always within and only truly winnable there – never on the foreign soil of other people’s minds. Aren’t our own selves all (or really more) than we can control anyway?
Are we completely giving over ourselves to the notion of creating a better world? Or have we designated some portions of the battle as someone else’s job? Do we see any problem as someone else’s issue or do we recognize them all, no matter how grand or insignificant, as our own?
With each dollar we spend, smile we give, and trust we offer, we ultimate cast our votes in small, but critical measures for the type of world in which we wish to live. We are creating this world by the manner in which we think and do.
Is our world full of fear, distrust, greed, and anger? Or are we, by conscious belief and action, redefining a new order of life? Are we giving birth to something beautiful or giving in to what we think is inevitable? Are we proffering hope or hopelessly accepting that nothing will change, knowing that as such, we will always get what we have always got? Are we willing to accept the outcome of our decisions?