~ SONGS FOR THE JOURNEY & BEYOND ~
"THE LAY OF THE LAND"
"Road songs" have become "Life songs" for me. Travel from "A" to "B" seems to have a way of unlocking deeper parts of my spirit.
Having lived the better part of the last 20 years on the road as a "band in a van" or as a troubadour, I became immersed first-hand in what historians & writers have called, the "American Experience."
Those variables of limited resources & hard luck, when fused with faith, courage & (often) sheer "pluck," were vital to transforming this great country. The idea that we could all dream and find ourselves a "lil' part of Heaven," initially "looked good on paper." We had, so to speak, a lot to work with here. The grandeur and resources of such a land as ours is, to my mind, unrivaled in the world.
We all play out a certain drama:
We learn the ropes of life.
In doing so we learn of our own gifts and our weaknesses.
We are thrown back (like it or nay) on something larger than ourselves.
We try to bet on hope in the face of grief.
We champion courage while attempting to keep despair at bay;
...and we take a stoic stock in a sober faith that "it's all going somewhere."
Those ancient stories and myths you try to make your own.
Call it naive. Call it infantile; Call it uninformed, it is, nonetheless the "Faith" we have cobbled together from our American Experience.
It is this "faith" that attracts me to a guitar, and the possibility of a song being born. Of something coming to life.
If we "dare to look it in the eye," this raw energy of our individual lives, dreams, and struggles, we will have more than enough "grit" to make for great songs. Whether it's themes of heroes, thieves, lovers, villains, misers or the "down-&-out," it has been such experiences that have informed my world without...but mostly my world within;
Early on in my life, i was deeply aware of a universe that was full of great beauty, joy & hallowed-ness. Still, such beauty (earthly or heavenly) comes to us in fits and starts. It introduces itself in such fragility and vulnerability that it appears tentative, even disposable.
We are victims of all that seen (as opposed to the unseen, even in ourselves.) Fear drives us to soul-less solutions. People get hurt. In our mad rush towards materialism as "individuals" we are easily seduced at the altars of wealth, success and violence. People and things are deemed, "expendable." Even our relationships become defined in terms of "Gain vs. Loss."
Having lost touch with things of Spirit, we tend to devalue that hallowed-ness in the world. We miss such hallowed-nes in our neighbor and sadly, even in ourselves. We miss Spirit, ignore it and (often,) ruin it, by our own devices. Though outwardly we appear to "have it made," we are often become living beings, lacking a pulse...running on empty.
I count myself in such a category, punctuated with the occasional "mini-epiphany." Perhaps we all live at such address.
That "almost but not quite" aspect of our lives.
And, if by chance, we should wake up to that "larger, brighter world," embrace it, cultivate it and above all: Chalk it up humbly to grace.
And that "not of thyself."
And for those of us who still walk wounded, lingering in the twilight? Well, "be ye kind, tender-hearted & forgiving" to the rest of us.
Such displays of virtue may be the only "sighting" of that larger, brighter world we "unbelievers" will ever see.
Maybe that's what these songs for the journey & beyond are all about.
Joy & courage on yours, dear friends,
New Years, 2012
released January 15, 2016
Bill Mallonee: vocals, guitars, elec & acoustic, harmonica, bass, piano, drums.
Muriah Rose: piano, vocals.
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