Giving grace and thanks………
This Saturday, I’m headed over to Cherokee, Iowa (about 25 miles west of where I live in Storm Lake), to give a demo on guitar and amp care at the Cherokee Guitar Shop. I am grateful people want to gather to listen to whatever I have to say – I’m just barely getting into this next chapter in life, and people in a new part of my ol’ home state are giving me a chance to talk about a subject that I’m passionate about. That is grace, and for that I give thanks……
It’s funny – I’ve looked at my son over the past months, and found a new love and appreciation for him ( yes, even when he acts like an eleven year old). It’s one of those ‘ gosh-I–really-am–a-dad’ moments – it’s like I woke up after some years, and though,” I really like being a father.” Also, he’s been obsessed with playing his little ‘standards’ on the piano ( “Jingle Bells’, “Yankee Doodle”, and “Chopsticks”) – redefining and improvising them melodically and rhythmically. He even tries to switch key signatures - It’s pretty cool. For that, I give grace, and thanks that he appreciates music, and all those years he spent as a wee lad, crawling around Dad as I taught lessons at home .
My wife has found an adoring audience at the church she attended when she was younger(that we now attend as a family), right here in town . Ironically, I think the two best voices she has found to blend harmony with, have been some old acquaintances that she has gotten to be good friends with. It only took several moves, some trials and tribs, searching to find what she needed for her music,which was right back in her hometown. Of course, things tend to happen in the course of life and time, when they need to happen (or at the very least , it gets presented to you – you have to be aware enough to figure it out). For this, I send praises to my bride, and grace, and thanks.
Life gets funny – not always in funny-ha-ha mode, but curiously funny, to say the least. And it’s been a whirlwind of events, for our family, as I look back on 2010. I am trying to change my mode of thinking – more pro-active in some areas that I should be, for the better. I see a sliver of a thread of a new outlook on things – and that is something to give grace and thanks about. Because, as I’ve quoted before, Miles Davis used to say if you keep playing things the same way, you’ll get the same results (and that cat knew). To release the fear of letting go and moving on – that’s grace enough.
We live in a world assaulted by media – devices in our hands, mounted in our homes and businesses, in places of worship, and transportation. This is nothing new – just more electronically enhanced. Your energy gets scattered, and it gets harder to see what’s real, and what’s b.s. Everybody is selling something ALL THE TIME (me included – hey, I’ll admit it). I think I’ve run into more people in the ‘music business’ who are figuring out how to ‘make it’ on some level. I guess there’s Lady- GaGa -level making it, and here’s-your-local-scene making it, with all points in between. It’s always been that way – it’s just more in your grill today.
And what about the simple act of making music for the hell of it – just around your community? One thing I’ve learned in our travels away from home is that there are great musicians in your town who hardly get the nod – they’re just doing it to keep their hearts full, and because they NEED to ( because we, as artists, ALL need to create). For the act of being able to make music, by yourself, or with anyone, is an act of grace.
And for that I give thanks.