McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Standing in history and streams of consciousness

Forgive me this liberty to ramble a bit. I would like to offer a few meditations with a "slightly" broader perspective. Somehow I will relate this to music. Old Time music. Today I took my aging Pointer on her final hunt for the wiley Quail in N.E. Kansas. Coincidentally, this favored spot I return to again and again is located on the Oregon/California Trail in Nemaha County, NW of Seneca.
This branch of the trail was used during the Gold Rush phase in 49 and begins in St Joe Mo and extends to Marysville Ks.
I actually trod over ruts that remain from those wagons trudging up a hill and then eroding a permanent print upon the land. The Quail I shot was just a few feet from these ruts.
I know that out of the thousands of Argonauts that passed that way, a few of them had fiddles. It would be the lucky "train" that had a fiddler to entertain them on this long long journey. I actually do know that fiddles were present and you should not be surprised to know that we still play some of the same tunes they played then.
You might be amazed to learn that nearly everyone walked the whole distance. Only the most infirm elderly folks rode. Even very young children walked.
These folk were hardy. Much more so than us. They had a patience we lack.
We are piled on with distractions to a degree that it's a wonder we accomplish anything at all. Like learning new songs and how to play that instrument you bought or the new one sitting in your corner waiting for your attention. The old folks had only the basic concerns, like food, shelter. Us? Ipods, brainy cell phones that allow you to interact with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.
If that's not enough, the TV, Computer, video games, world news,politics and pending economic disaster and collapse compete with draining the last drop of blood from your soul.
Listen to the old folks who were more in tune (horrible pun) with life in the nitty gritty. Find out what's really important. I mean really important and act it.Cast off these impediments to your life and embrace the real.
I listened to Lonnie Robertson on the way out of town this morning and every time I hear him I am reminded how much I really really enjoy his playing.
Then I listened to the "Old and in the Way" Cd and their versions of the old Stanley Brothers 'hits' from the past.
Music really is a balm to the soul.
UPDATE
I knew I would end up taking a couple days to work this thread out here.
To further elaborate, I am talking about resuming some pattern of simplicity in our lives in a manner not unlike what our ancestors had.
The benefits are that we will provide a much clearer focus to the things we love and cherish. Like our music. Our families. Our faith. Our conscience.
When I pick up my guitar I have to fight the barrage of worry and concern that my experience in this world evokes. Hence, getting into it is hard and getting harder.
I have always had a tremendous sympathy with the Amish/Mennonites way. I just thought they took it too far and was too severe. At this point in my life I am re-evaluating that. The self imposed limitations of a simple life reap benefits that might be worth that but I am still not ready to go that far.
One big step I took was to find complete satisfaction in what I had for musical instruments. I had pushed hard and got my 'good' Martin guitar bought at some sacrifice and also got my backup rosewood dred bought too.
I used to have constant gas for other new "killer" guitars as well but I got over that.
I am lucky to have what I have and enjoy it a great deal. I am still not worthy of my Martin but in another year or two I think I will be.
I will just not give up on my learning the guitar. Yes,I know I have a long way to go. I am long long past the early days of the neophytes enthusiasm.
I don't post many long winded things like this. I hope I did not waste your time here. Kind of a ramble huh?
UPDATE
Oh yes! Time to reread Zen Guitar. Good book I recommend highly. Good ideas.

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