I still stop at the date at the beginning of every September 11th. Still gets me in the gut to think of the horror of 11 years ago. I was trying to explain peace to my children over an orange juice at a cafe. Why can’t peace happen? It seems so easy to a seven-year-old. But somehow life is complicated. The world is complicated. We try for peace one relationship at a time.
I was explaining to my son tonight about what an archeologist does. I called them professional diggers. It’s impossible to talk to people who lived thousands of years ago. The next best thing is to read what they’ve written. And considering that many historical figures have never written anything — we’re left to analyze the artifacts they’ve left behind. It’s fascinating to piece together a history based on signs. I was trying to remember how I felt during another time in my life last week. It’s hard to discern how I felt. If I’m lucky I wrote a song during that time; or perhaps a journal entry or two. But most of the time I’m left to seeing the odd Christmas card or photo. Sure beats digging through the ground for signs of the past. I have trouble remembering how I felt about something 10 years ago, let alone a few centuries.
Doing some dreaming about the new CD tonight. I’m thinking about calling it “Spark”. What do you think? I’ve been writing a lot about the imagery of fire in the past year. It seems that it captures so well what is going on in the human heart. It only takes a spark — what can I say? Perhaps that is what I think is really at the heart of creativity — the sacred spark that drives our great ideas and fuels all we do. Head on down to The Fire to hear one of my new songs!
Watching the winter classic. Hockey is meant to be played outside. It’s a shame that it every moved inside. Lego going on the side with my son. The New Year is off to a good start.
New Year’s Day. I’ve had U2 in my head for half the day. Just relaxing, trying to reflect on what this year is about that’s behind, and the new one ahead. I figure blogging makes my life a little more reflective somehow. Nothing like starting today.
Just finished reading David Bergen’s book, ‘The Matter With Morris.’ The main character, Morris Schutts, is having a sort of mid-life crisis after his son dies. He’s questioning the choices he’s made in life and is seeing a Psychiatrist who gives him this answer to his doubts:
“Wouldn’t it be interesting,” he said, “if there could be many Morris Schutts, and you would all live different lives. And at the end, just before you died, you gathered together, flew in from different parts of the world, met in a gentlemen’s club perhaps, and there put forth an argument as to which of you had had the best life. The aesthete, though poor, would argue that beauty had augmented his life; the fornicator would extol bodily pleasure; the millionaire would maintain that money had not only extended his life, it had made him happy; the bum would say that he had never worried about the getting and keep ing of currency, and so he was the freest; the Morris who had committed murder and spent years in prison would say that because he had fallen so far, he was most aware of grace; the religious Morris would claim that his treasures were laid up in heaven; the faithful Morris, the good husband and father, would claim that he had lived authentically and passed on the passion for the best life to his children. And so on. In then end, though, what you would all be claiming is that the beneficial is fair and the harmful is ugly. But, Morris, what is beneficial and what is harmful? You have only one life. You must choose.” (The Matter With Morris, P. 199)
I guess I resonate with this quote. There’s so many ways to live a life. I wish there was more than one way. But there’s not. We kind of choose. I think of the Bruce Cockburn song, “Tie Me At The Crossroads.” Perhaps I feel like that a lot of the times. Life is hard to balance. There is a cost and a benefit to every life, every decision, every dream. I sacrifice myself, my family, my dreams, my future, my fulfillment — there’s something on every side. I don’t like this. I wish we could live many lives. Perhaps I think that some sort of integration is actually possible. How? I don’t know. There’s a book title waiting to be written: “The Integrated Life.” I’ll keep you posted on how the writing is going.
Why does the loss of someone like Steve Jobs feel so profound? I think it’s because he represented what was possible for the imagination. Dreams and vision can change the world. He followed what was inside him. I noted a quote from him in 2005: “You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” I think he’s right. I feel too often that I want to figure something out to find a scientific reason for choices I make. What does it mean for me to trust my gut, destiny, God — whatever the mystery of the human heart really is. I want to trust. I want to follow the dream that’s in my heart. Maybe it needs no explanation. Rest in Peace, Steve. Thanks for the inspiration.
Is there anything sweeter than harmony? Today I shared a song with a 90 year old man who sang harmony with me. Our souls met each other. It was simply beautiful. The music business is so filled with pretentiousness and hype — I can feel lost at times. But today real music reminded me of just how precious music can be. But more — how powerful music can be. Music connects people to people; people to history; people to hope.
September 11th. I woke up quite heavy with the memory. Grabbed a coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. I’m thinking of the jet planes and tragedy. My son walks in from playing lego from the basement with his new creation — an airplane filled with people. Don’t think he knew the significance of the airplane. He flew a lap with the plane in the kitchen and went back downstairs. Lots to think about. The skies are safe again.
I went to the garden center to get stones for my front lawn today. What’s sad is that I pull up with my car, pick out my rocks, get them weighed, pay for them, put them in the trunk and then drive away. The parking lot is filled with other shoppers. The place is buzzing. I sure miss the old days of pulling up to a rocky lake and pulling a few bolders — there’s something sacred about choosing a piece of nature and bringing it home. I recall being a boy on the lake up north building a fireplace out of stone one summer. Rock by rock we chose and hauled. It’s the same feeling of picking a precious rock from an ocean with my kids. But it’s wrong these days. I get it. I understand that our natural environments would be pilfered by cheap shoppers wanting to save money off landscaping. But it’s still a shame. I don’t know where my front yard garden rocks really came from. They came from a bin. And before that, a bobcat muscled them by the hundreds out of some field into a dump truck. I guess I long for a little connectedness. Perhaps if I did my research I could find a local farmer needing some rocks picked from his field. Maybe next time.
On the bright side, the rocks look great.