Thursday, November 20, 2008

suitcase of photographs...

they're gone. i had this old suitcase. it was filled with photos. photos from college, trips cross country, my childhood, holidays, shows, barbeques, hikes, parties, camping, baseball games etc, etc, etc.

they're gone.

(so important to me was this suitcase that it appears in the chorus of the title track on my last CD, Where the Songs Come From.)

i remember many of the moments in these pictures with pictures in my mind. i even have pictures of the pictures in my mind...some of them, anyway.

i mention this only because, not only can i not figure out where the photos have gone but i'm also not sure exactly how i feel about losing them. i thought of these photos as a window or bridge, of sorts, to those memories. a portal back to those times, when i'd crave the occasional visit. 

but i think, maybe, they were more like a tether. snapshots are very one-dimensional. snapshots are often dishonest. much like soundbites. nothing in real life really happens in snapshots.

all of the smiles, the landscapes, the colors, the smells, the imperfections, the perfections, the beauty,  the facts are more real and more accurate in my memory. my full experience of those events still exist in my consciousness. and i prefer knowing that the truth is stored somewhere in my experience to falsely reliving memories by rummaging through a suitcase of  snapshots. so, here's to being released from the tether of the snapshots of my past and to embracing the present moment.

...or maybe i'm just rationalizing the loss :)   -ce

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

company of friends

i spent this past weekend in the catskills at a folk music conference, where lots of  folk musicians and music folk gather and eat, drink and sleep music for days. (...well not sleeping so much)

the time spent there is teeming with tiny beautiful moments. the clip below was the jewel in the crown.

the guy singing and playing is my friend danny schmidt. He is one of the best songwriters on the planet. I mean it. he invited me and a few other dear friends to join him on this tune. the sound is a bit fuzzy but you get the idea. i'm all the way to the left next to raina rose, chris o'brien, anthony da costa, melissa greener and a.j. roach.

they are all amazing singers and songwriter too so please check them out!!!   -ce

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

change has come...

this country is a different place . yes, it happened overnight. no, it wasn't any new policies, or changed style of government, or magnanimous politicians or any new law passed or old one overturned or upheld.  it wasn't the words or wisdom of any one person.

we have a black President. an african-american President of the United States. it was a collective wisdom that made that happen. it has been a very very long time coming happened overnight. and we are the better for it. this was a leap. this country is a different place.

the details don't matter right now. the big picture is out of our peripheral vision. policies, strategies, promises kept or broken, all that will happen is unknown. but...

for right now, take it in. the signing of the declaration of independence, the emancipation proclamation, or the reading of the gettysburg address. the world became a different place. with a snap of the fingers.  i think this is one of those moments. 

another collective moment of overnight transformation was 9/11. that was the only moment akin to this in my lifetime till now. though that was a day of horror and this is the opposite. that, a leap backward, this, a leap forward. change has come. how it manifests only time will tell. but for now...i say, take it in.

An NPR Analyst named Dan Schorr said very much the same thing but put it this way.
Click here to hear his commentary.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"the still, small voice vibrating."

the 'still, small voice vibrating' is how walt whitman describes 'our choosing day' in his poem Election Day 1884. more grand, more subtle and more powerful than all of America's natural wonders is this day every four years. its challenging to convey ones affection for election day without sounding like a big NERD. without spouting phrases like 'civic pride and duty.' this poem accomplishes just that. 

what excites me today is that i think today, unlike previous days i've voted, there are so many people who 'get it.' no explanation seems necessary. we're all participating and witnessing it at the same time...together. just like the first time i visited Niagara Falls. i thought it would be this hokey tourist trap but instead as i approached the falls that day its power almost seduced me to leap right in. it was amazing! 

today isn't about who is chosen but the fact that we are choosing. and yes, the system is far from perfect. but, on a day like today, its hard not to want to jump right in.

Robert Pinsky (former US poet Laureate) wrote a great article in the Boston Globe today about the Walt Whitman poem: