Onward to Maryland...

One of the blessings of my life involves playing music with REALLY talented and humble artists. Tonight, before heading away in the morning on a journey that is grounded in celebrating my father's life at a memorial service in Bowie, MD, we gathered for band practice.  Not the whole BIG band of desperadoes that join us for the Thanksgiving Eve gig, just the core of our church band - and these cats always raise my spirits with their generosity AND their talent. 

Now don't get me wrong, when the BIG band gets together it is both a bit of homecoming/family reunion and musical magic: truly sweet and soothing music to heal the weary soul. But there is something sacred about making music with my mates. I love them. I trust them. They are so gifted and simultaneously humble and funny. Clearly, I needed to be with them tonight before heading off for the farewell for my father.

Let me suggest the breadth and depth of this group's musicality and commitment.We started off with this tender song by Kate Rusby: The Wandering Soul.


After two takes, we did some a capella explorations re: the harmonies on the chorus and then ran through it one more time. I was in tears with the beauty. So then, in the spirit of Monty Python, it was time for something completely different and we tackled Tom Waits masterwork:  Hold On. God I love this song. Someone recently said this is what Bruce Springsteen would sound like with three testicles!  All heart and soul, hope and sorrow, at the same time.

For good measure we worked our way through some Ryan Adams, Tom Petty and Warren Zevon tunes - especially the really wild ass, head banger ones mixed up with a few heart-breaking Joni Mitchell ballads. Like I said: these cats blow me away and feed my soul. 

Tomorrow we're off - to rest and reflect, to prepare and ponder, to connect with loved ones and celebrate the life of my father - it is yet another pilgrimage. One of the things I have learned about pilgrimage is that there is always resistance. One master put it like this:

Resistance arrives whenever we launch any new entrepreneurial venture, when we begin a program of spiritual advancement, when we attempt to overcome any unwholesome habits, when we seek education of any kind, when we decide with courage to change an unhealthy lifestyle pattern, and when we initiate an act that entails commitment of the heart, along with a few other triggers...  Resistance will do its best to keep us in our habitual everyday momentums, where we feel comfortable, safe and at no risk of transformation.

I am aware of my own hesitations so I am ready to learn from even the hard or empty places of this pilgrimage. And feast on the fun of this wonderful family, too. Perhaps that's why I needed to sing this song tonight with complete abandon.  Onward to Maryland...

Comments

Peter said…
Traveling mercies, good brother.
RJ said…
thanks my man...

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