Cobwebs and Dust

They say he closed up shop
One last time
Went home
And died

He tried to carry on
With the store
His wife had passed
Four years before

He did the best
That anyone can
But his heart was broken
He was a lonely man

The last time
I visited his store
He said he was 90
As he closed the door

Kill Your TV

A holiday tradition in my family is a little like the Seinfeld Festivus episode – a funnier version of “The Airing of Grievances” scene. We used to get together and the conversation would always turn to how my twin brother screwed up when we were young.

I have made it a point not to “go there” this year and start a conversation with that age old theme, but it was so funny when my brother offered such stories. That’s when I realized how no matter how embarrassing or weird or even wrong – we humans like controversy. I guess its like rubber necking on a hi way where traffic slows down because we are drawn to such carnage. Is it because it breaks up what seems like a quiet, repetitive and mundane life?

Around the year 2001 or so, I stopped Cable TV – I think because of CNN and watching planes hit the towers in NYC. I also found that beside one or two TV shows that I liked, TV was total crap. MTV with its crappy “reality shows” just sucked badly. I got back into Ham Radio as an antidote and perhaps a nostalgic way to step back into a simpler time in my life.

Fast forward to Social Media, the Internet and YouTube. Add in a dash of podcasting and here we are again – rubber necking the daily car, train and plane wrecks.

I got off Twitter and Facebook in 2016. I used it successfully to market a Ham Radio expedition and its fund raising. That was the one good thing I saw in it. I did reconnect with old high school friends, but when my best friend from high school started getting weird arguing about how great Trump was I killed Twitter and Facebook.

A professor of media and communications explained that now a days, its all about going way over the top and “going viral”. You are ignored unless you are ultra provocative. These purveyors of bullshit don’t believe a word they are saying, but sadly, far too many buy into this crap.

Its not a Holy or Civil war, its just noise – just like constantly watching 911 clips on CNN in 2001.

Canyonville

Down from the mountains
Canyon Creek ambles along
Deposits into the South Umpqua

Pioneer Cemetery
Covered wagon settlers
Took their last breath here

White Trash Pop Eye

Daddy told young Elmer
"Please don't play with guns"
Because you'll shoot your eye out
Then you'll just have one

Elmer didn't listen
And he shot his Daddy's gun
It hit him in his right eye
Now he only has the left one

He rides horses tough as nails
With the Boys who are Proud
He got caught at the Capitol
On camera they were very loud

Wearing his pirate eye patch
Seen yelling MAGA chants
Now he sits in prison
Wearing orange shirt and pants

They say he went to Harvard
Thats a mighty fine school
Some how he got caught up
And became a MAGA Tool

He sits in prison waiting
For his presidential pardon
When hell freezes over he'll get one
That's when he'll be martyred

Chorus
White Trash Popeye

Plane Tree (The Good Life)

I suppose life is like
The beautiful Fall colors
It doesn't last long
So we commit it to song
Its a good life

There's a place I know
In fact its many places
Where I feel Zen
Through my camera lens
Its a good life

People come and people go
But you are here to stay
Time marches on
From night to the dawn
Its a good life

The Footpath

A quiet morning
Cool and crisp
The dabbled light
Rained down like mist

The walking path
Not long ago
Devoid of color
Before this show

As if on queue
Fall colors came
It looks so different
Its not the same

Just weeks ago
Brown dried out weeds
But this late fall
A different breed

I almost quit
Without a fuss
But then it came
The color rust

What seems so late
Is now in time
The longer the wait
The better the wine

Tobacco Sunburst

All along a railroad line
Thats now a walking path
I saw a glowing stand of trees
It looked like Autumns last

They proved to be a phantom stand
Those serated leaves of elm
They don't grow much round here
Today I was under their spell

In amongst their yellow leaves
I saw another color first
Leaves the color of my mandolin
Tobacco Sunburst

The Gift of The Magi(c)

One Magus

I’ve been reading a great book called “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”. If you want to give a cool little hardcover book for Christmas, there’s my recommendation. It even fits in a stocking.

While we are on the subject of word play and word etymology and gifts, look up the word Magi – its a lot more interesting than the Christian Bible story.

Magic and Magicians, which morphed into kings or wise men. Astronomers and those who practiced (at the time) esoteric science. I love how all of this evolved and also were in Iranian, Indian, Greek, Latin, Hebrew and other languages, customs and religions.

For me, there still is magic left in this world. Here are recent examples in my life:

  • My beautiful wife
  • My wonderful (grown) kids
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Loved ones who have passed
  • A fantastic 41 year career
  • Nature – yesterday stumbling on a gorgeous Elm forest with bright fall colors
  • Music – playing and (especially) Song Writing
  • Photography
  • Radio
  • All other art and artists who’ve influenced me over the years
  • The healing process
  • Exercise and sports
  • Practicing gratitude

The list could go on, but Holy Moly, magic (and by extension, gifts) still exists in this world – no matter how screwed up it sometimes seems. Luckily, change is constant, and while God Knows how politically screwed up the USA had seemed since 2016, change seems to be in the air.

When you compare that bad episode with the good, there is no contest. The single most powerful magic is the will of people to come together to improve their lot. Whether it be very local to oneself or more on the outside – even in your community or the world.

Maybe, just maybe, we are on the verge of people ready to work together and stop the divisiveness. In any case, lean in on the good in life. The ongoing fall of a few very greedy bad people almost seems to suggest the winds of change are nigh. Scrooge comes to mind.

The good never left us, it just seemed trampled under by the bad, but the bad was so weak, right minded people kept on keeping on unflinchingly – and like magic, the good seems to no longer be in the rearview fields mirror but right out front through the windshield.

Here’s to the hope and gift of the good conquering (or at least muting out the bad) for a while.

You Are The Gift

You are my music, my muse
You are the gift that
If I were dreaming I'd choose

You are the journey and destination
I'd travel the globe
To land at your station

Luckily I don't have to go far
At home in each others warmth
Together forever we always are

I will give thanks to God
That we found each other
And are like two peas in a pod

Its that wonderful time of the year, when we reflect on gratitude and the real gifts in life. Whenever I get down, I practice gratitude and its quite the miracle. I try to be thankful every day, no matter how distracted or busy I get.

Nick Lowe wrote a song that Elvis Costello covered, and whenever the world seems to be ungrateful and instead, hateful, I chant the name of the song – quietly in my head:

“What’s so funny about peace love and understanding”

In fact, its a new tradition of mine to play both Nick Lowe and Elvis Costellos version on New Years Day.

May Peace and Love be with you ….

Peace, Love and Harmony

There's something  all the riches 
In the universe can't buy
Its the peace love and harmony
We have in our life

When you looked me
Straight in the face
And asked "How can I be so happy?"
I was feeling exactly the same

When you finally get it right
And find the right one in life
Run, don't walk
Make sure they are your husband or wife

Life is so short
But no need to frown
Better to live happy and fast
Than slow, lonely and down

Thanksgiving is a great time to feel and express gratitude. The best antidote to our crazy modern world is to realize that the only things in life that matter aren’t things at all, but friends, family, loved ones and mother earth.

This is more gratitude than can fit in your entire lifetime.