Friday, June 27, 2008

Going On The Road Again

So far this week I have written about being emotionally needy, trying to live a spiritual life, lightening bugs, ants, silence, living without rules, my Dad, and nursing homes. I need a break and this weekend I will get one. Tomorrow I am making my first rock and roll road trip of the summer. My friends and I will be heading north to the Indianapolis area to see the Steve Miller Band and Joe Cocker. They are both classic rockers. Steve Miller got his start in the mid 60's playing the blues on the south side of Chicago. This was no small feat for a young white boy. He was right in the thick of greats like Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Howlin Wolf, among others. Eventually he migrated to San Francisco and became part of the whole psychedelic scene in San Francisco, playing at the infamous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and other now famous venues like the Fillmore West. He reached the peak of his popularity in the mid 70's with his classic album "Fly Like an Eagle". Joe Cocker was basically playing in bars until he played a gig called Woodstock. I am talking about the original Woodstock in 1969. His performance there, especially his fiery version of the classic Beatles song "With a Little Help from my Friends", turned him into an overnight superstar. I recommend Joe's album/CD entitled "Mad Dogs and Englishmen". I expect this to be a very enjoyable evening. Hopefully the forecasted thunderstorms will hold off until after the show. The music is all the fireworks my friends and I will need.

Here are 15 reasons you should go to your favorite music store this weekend. I could easily list a couple of hundred more reasons. This particular group is limited to African American men. Of course a larger list would include men and women of many ethic groups and races. All of these musicians have enriched my life.

Chuck Berry
James Brown
Miles Davis
Bo Diddley
Buddy Guy
Ritchie Havens
Jimi Hendrix
John Lee Hooker
Little Richard
Robert Johnson
Albert King
B. B. King
Bob Marley
Otis Redding
Muddy Waters

When the late actress Katherine Hepburn was asked if she thought life was hard, she replied, "Yes, life is hard. It kills all of us"! Even the now senior citizen, Bob Dylan, sang in his youth, "Those not being born are busy dying". Bob makes a good point. We are all dying everyday. It will take some of us longer than others. None of us know our time. These thoughts, however, are not really about dying. They are about living. Life is so precious and such a gift. We need to live it well. I am not talking about extreme living or a life of grand adventure. Most of us will never live adventurous lives. We will live mostly quiet, hidden lives full of the ordinary. We can still, however, live lives that are deep with meaning, full of love, and purposeful. Many people spend much of their lives getting ready to live. Some die before they ever begin to live. The time to live is now. I love to watch dinosaur programs on the Discovery Channel. It is not unusual to hear the narrator say something like, "Tyrannosaurus Rex ruled the earth for 75,000,000 years". 75,000,000 years for one species to evolve and finally disappear????? We might, if we are lucky, have 75-80 years as individuals to evolve into our best self before we die. Do you feel a small sense of urgency about living now? Living with a sense of urgency does not mean that we have to live with a sense of panic. Intentional living is living with a sense of purpose. As you load the backpack that you will carry through life, do not weigh yourself down with non essentials. Focus on what is really important. Let go of worry and needless concerns. Travel light. Hold no grudges. Forgive everything. Love much. Harm no one. Smell the flowers. Feel the wind. Dance to the music.

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