(I don't generally monetize Memorial Day, so there's no big sale this weekend except if you're a veteran past or present or a first responder of any kind - then it's 10% off anything you want all weekend - and thank you for your service! ~Scott)
I’m going to make note of this to lead off for a quick paragraph and then we’ll move along to the magic smiley birds singing in the woods place that life is most of the time, or at least more often than not. Austin lost one of its premier singer-songwriters this week, a man I never really got into but many did and he worked the kind of magic healing a good songwriter can do for them for about 30 years in this scene. He saw the end coming and faced it like a man in control of how he wanted to live, which includes the dignity in which he wished to depart. Jimmy LaFave, you were a brave man. Look him up, people. And if you wonder why I run myself so hard, why I live and breathe what I do and try to write and post in the hopes it encourages YOU to do the same… a youthful eye may catch a fleeting glimpse of the glimmer off the scythe, or sense the hooded shadow over in the corner; but the longer you ride the closer he gets. The colder his breath on your heels becomes. The ranks of your kind thin out and you become ever more aware that son of a bitch is just making his way through the crowd to you. So sing your song to the world, brothers and sisters! This is not a dress rehearsal and you will carry these days for the rest of your life – make them worth keeping.
The magic rolls on out here in the little green workshop in the woods – I’m starting to write this on Wednesday actually, the 24th – which is the 2 year anniversary of “The morning after” here in our little town of Wimberley, Texas. The 2015 Memorial Day flood changed many lives. I view what I do (aside from the business aspect or as a maker & seller of tools that happen to be musical) from a perspective of service to your spirit. If I craft this tool and it inspires you, and you create with it, and share that, and that makes others feel better and inspired too… you can see the ripples that are now possible, the potential in all of that. This is my position on the field; the orders I felt handed years ago. THIS is what I do, help those ripples by helping the music happen - it just happened to form in wood and wire as with others it was their words and music, or through the building of a house or in the flow of the paperwork… ideally we all help something good to happen somehow by what we do.
(To convey this moment, as I’m typing at about 9AM a helicopter flew overhead and I felt chills – other than power and closed roads we weren’t directly personally affected by the flood but two years later in my mind every helicopter up there is still a search & rescue and it’s that morning again…)
Well, there is one plank from one of the many huge cypress trees that were lost from the banks of the Blanco River two years ago – taken with so much else - that is now well on its way to being tools of music and harmony, groove and communion, inspiration and healing! The tree may be no more but its seeds, now very different, will spread once more – outward into waiting hands who will then seed with notes and song further than any of us – the tree, the man who saved and milled it, our hands here – could have ever imagined. There will be woodcraft made from the scraps. Little bags of shavings will be part of ceremonies. Nothing will be wasted… now view life as that tree, our time here, the impact we have on others, our potential. Our potential to help the potentials. We have a time and we have a tree of “what we have to work with” brought to our “now” by what has happened along our path; what has been, what has come and gone in our lives. Here now this morning that is who we are and this is what we have. The big issue is not what was or what is not, but what will we make of what is now? From this day forward? How will we turn this around by offering our best in service?
On behalf of all in our circle we thank you for being here, wish you a safe and harmonious Memorial day weekend, and ask that you please keep those who served and sacrificed not just in your hearts, but in your lives as well. Tell their stories. Do impressions of their funny quirks. Say their sayings. Play their favorites and repeat their jokes. Savor a bite of food or a cold beverage enough for them too. Have a moment. Leave a peelout mark at a stop sign in their honor - and as a single finger flag of defiance at whatever is chasing you down behind you. Let that bastard have to catch you first. Make some good ripples in a hero's name. You’re still here… put on some music and go make something happen.
Listening to: Soundgarden Superunknown; Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy; Doug Raney Back In New York City; some Augustus Pablo, John Scofield, and then Tom Verlaine Warm and Cool which I think I'm going to go deep with and have on all weekend.