Happy New Year cyber-friends! Hope that ’16 is off to a great start for you and yours. Personally the world is a different, albeit more lovely place as my wife and I have welcomed a little girl into the world…Naoma Sage. She is a month old now and it’s been a trip to watch her develop a little bit everyday. I was gone for 5 days on Delbert McClinton’s cruise and when I came home it really blew my mind how much she’d changed—I’d always heard people talk about this sort of thing but now it’s really hitting home. It’s a beautiful thing. We are overjoyed!
Speaking of the Delbert cruise, it was amazing as always. Can’t help but feel inspired and moved while watching dudes like Steve Mackey, Red Young, James Pennebaker, Al Anderson, Greg Morrow, and Kevin McKendree…it’s like getting a lesson.
On the cruise I had an ample amount of time to get into a few books. Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning “All The Light We Cannot See” was fantastic. Set amidst the tragedy and horror of World War II, it is a gripping story of an orphaned German boy and a blind French girl whose paths collide in Saint-Malo, France as the Allies moved in. Their stories are woven together masterfully and as the book gets going you really can’t put it down. Also finished up another Tom Robbins gem, “Wild Ducks Flying Backward”. It is a compilation of essays, articles, observations, lyrics and more from the genius whose wit, imagination, mysticism, eroticism and irreverence are incredibly refreshing. In one of the many incredible anecdotes in the book, Robbins describes a trip he took to Mexico with one of the great luminaries of the 20th century, the mystical scholar Joseph Campbell. Here is an excerpt from that essay, in which Robbins elucidates Campbell’s theory on mythological archetypes present in all of our lives and how they should be interpreted in a broad social, political and religious context:
“A myth is something that never happened but it always happening. Myths are the plots of the psyche. They are ongoing, symbolic dramatizations of the inner life of the species, external metaphors for internal events. As Campbell used to say, myths come from the same place dreams come from. But because they’re more coherent than dreams, more linear and refined, they are even more instructive. A myth is the song of the universe, a song that, if accurately perceived, explains the universe and our often confusing place in it. It is only when it is allowed to crystallize into “history” that a myth becomes useless—and possibly dangerous. For example, when the story of the resurrection of Jesus is read as a symbol for the spiritual rebirth of the individual, it remains alive and can continually resonate in a vital, inspirational way in the modern psyche. But when the resurrection is viewed as historical fact, an archival event then its resonance cannot help but flag. It may proffer some vague hope for our own mortality, but to our deepest consciousness it’s no longer transformative or even very accessible on an everyday basis. The self-renewing model has atrophied into second-hand memory and dogma, a dogma that the fearful, the uninformed, and the emotionally troubled feel a need to defend with violent action. The potential for violence is especially high when humanity stands, as it does today, at a crossroads of myth and religion-political fanaticism.”
Wow. Right on.
Moving on, here is a really cool mini-movie put together by the great Marco Benevento, for GoPro. Pretty heartwarming. It hit home for me personally. It’s 8 minutes long—check it out if you get the chance.
Here are some great albums that I’ve been listening to a lot recently:
Carl Perkins & NRBQ, Boppin’ The Blues
Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed
Jackson Browne, Late For The Sky
Ray Charles, A Message From The People
Los Lobos, The Neighborhood
Howling’ Wolf, The London Howling’ Wolf Sessions
Jeff Beck, Beck-Ola
Jimmy Vaughan, Out There
“Love is the merchandise which all the world demands; if you store it in your heart, every soul will become your customer.” -Hazrat Inayat Khan