Returning more time!

Tonight's band practice was a ton of fun... and then we went out for a glass of wine and conversation and lots of laughs.  As we were leaving I said, "Lord, what a GREAT group of people.  Were we ever blessed by coming here?!"  Totally true... to be sure, there have been times when I felt like packing it in - and there have been times when I've been humbled and challenged - but tonight was sweet and I am so very, very grateful.
So let me post a few more Thanksgiving Eve pictures because the whole experience was so much fun.  We shared insights and concerns - and made some plans for Christmas Eve tonight - and finally put the whole event to bed.  With one caveat:  we don't want to wait another year before doing something like this again!  Rumor has it that Fat Tuesday has our name all over it... hmmmmm. Here's a picture of Dr. Jon - one of the finest vocal musicians we've ever worked with - and totally wonderful spirit. His enthusiasm and encouragement really helped carry the night.
The following group of people - from my dear brother Hal to the "ad hoc revelation gospel choir" - are just a gas to work and sing with.  They were good sports who worked their asses off to get about 10 songs down in just a few weeks. I have been blessed to love them all and find ways for us to share in the joy of making music together. Thank you Ben, Scott, Steve, Carol, Dave, Hal, Sue, Renee and Dianne.

The poet, Robert Phillips, put it like this in "Instrument of Choice."

She was a girl
no one ever chose
for teams or clubs,
dances or dates,

so she chose the instrument
no one else wanted:
the tube.  Big as herself,
heavy as her heart,

its golden tubes
and coils encircled her
like a lover's embrace.
Its body pressed on hers.

Into its mouthpiece she blew
life, its deep-throated
oompahs, oompahs sounding,
almost, like mating cries.
Now here was a delight:  the great local horn player, Rob Fisch, joined us for both practice and the show.  In fact, he took many of these pictures.  As he told me when the gig was done, "This was a win-win for everyone:  the church gets better known in the community, we all raise funds to help our neighbors and great musicians get a chance to play together in joy and respect.  There are NO losers."  I sense he was right and treasured the chance to do this gig with him.

The poet Shel Silverstien wrote:

If we were a rock 'n' roll band,
We'd travel all over the land.
We'd play and we'd
sing and wear spangly things.
If we were a rock 'n' roll band.

If we were a rock 'n' roll band,
And we were up there on the stand,
The people would here us and love us and cheer us.
Hurray for that rock 'n' roll band.

If we were a rock 'n' roll band,
Then we'd have a million fans.
We'd giggle and laugh and
sign autographs,
If we were a rock 'n' roll band.
If we were a rock 'n' roll band.
The people would all
kiss our hands.
We'd be millionaires and have extra long hair,
If we were a rock 'n' roll band.

But we ain't no rock 'n' roll band,
We're just seven kids in the
With homemade guitars and pails and jars
And drums of potato chip cans.

Just seven kids in the sand.
Talk'n and waven' our hands.
And dreamin' and thinkin' oh wouldn't it be grand,
If we were a rock 'n' roll band.

One of our singer's grandchildren is now speaking of "nana's rock band."  Pretty sweet and part of the magic of doing this gig is bringing together LOTS of different kinds of musicians and making it all work together.

Two more pictures... first Grahm Sturz and Linda Worster - two of the finest local folk musicians around - and Andy Kelly and Brian Staubach Gentle souls, boldly talented who powerful voices and guitar styles that wake your soul from the dead.  I LOVE these people and am so glad they could be a part of the merriment. The poet Rumi wrote: Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.

"Since I was cut from the reedbed,
I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.

At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and grieving,

a friend to each, but few
will hear the secrets hidden

within the notes. No ears for that.
Body flowing out of spirit,

spirit up from body: no concealing
that mixing. But it's not given us

to see the soul. The reed flute
is fire, not wind. Be that empty."

Hear the love fire tangled
in the reed notes, as bewilderment

melts into wine. The reed is a friend
to all who want the fabric torn

and drawn away. The reed is hurt
and salve combining. Intimacy

and longing for intimacy, one
song. A disastrous surrender

and a fine love, together. The one
who secretly hears this is senseless.

A tongue has one customer, the ear.
A sugarcane flute has such effect

because it was able to make sugar
in the reedbed. The sound it makes

is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
let them go by without worrying

that they do. Stay where you are
inside such a pure, hollow note.

Every thirst gets satisfied except
that of these fish, the mystics,

who swim a vast ocean of grace
still somehow longing for it!

No one lives in that without
being nourished every day.

But if someone doesn't want to hear
the song of the reed flute,

it's best to cut conversation
short, say good-bye, and leave.
As you can tell, my heart and soul were nourished by this gig and I continue to cherish it and give thanks to God for all its blessings.  But that's enough... all good things must come to an end and so it is with this, too.  Thank you.


Black Pete said…
The same Dr Jon we met at Tanglewood? Wow!
RJ said…
Yep... I forget but he is the one and the same. GREAT memory, my man!

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