February 11, 2011
Unbeknownst to me, my loving wife conspired with Dan the Web Man to alert you to the fact that I had a birthday with a zero at the end coming up. I want to thank everyone who took the time to send me notes on FaceBook, on the Comments section of the website or via email. The sheer volume of this outpouring was startling, and I’m afraid I just can’t reply to everyone individually, but please know that you were each noted and appreciated! It was so nice, in fact, that I think I might do it again next month.
My Birthday Resolution is to spend more regular time on the creative process – both on music and on some of the other notions that have been rattling around in my head for years. I intend to go where the muse takes me rather than allot so many minutes for this, so many for that. This can be a somewhat risky proposition in that my particular muse seems to have a rather tenuous grasp on anything that we normal people might consider reality.
The Muse, is, of course, a very useful construct. We’ve all heard countless artists say that they were merely the channel for their work, which flowed from some Greater Source. I endorse this line of thinking because, on the one hand, it seems true, and, on the other, it gives one plausible deniability if it turns out that the work really, really sucks. “It’s not MY fault – the Greater Source did it.”
For example, I recently found a bird lying under the feeder by the kitchen window and brought him in to show Renee. (She is, among other things, a wildlife biologist, and I thought she’d be fascinated.) (And, yes, we have the little hawk-outline decals in the windows and all that good stuff.) She suggested that I write a song celebrating the bird’s time here, touching on the transitory nature of life and the ephemeral quality that lies at the heart of beauty. When I sat down, this is what Greater Source served up:
Oh, the bird is dead, ‘cause he bashed his head,
On the window by the kitchen.
Now he ain’t flappin’, he ain’t flyin’,
He ain’t even twitchin’.
And it went downhill from there. It’s NOT MY FAULT, you see. I am totally innocent. (I think, though, that I will NOT make a coloring book out of this one. Renee agrees.)
I’m headed out West later this month – check out the schedule below and come see me if you can. Stay warm!
All the best,
Quote of the month: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? – Satchel Paige