Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On The Road Again Enjoying Music With My Friends

Later today I will once again be heading up the rock and roll highway to Cincinnati to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers along with Steve Winwood. Most people are familiar with Tom Petty. Back in January Tom Petty was the half time show at the Super Bowl. He's been around since the 70's and has many classic and well known songs. My favorite is called "Running Down a Dream". He was also part of a group called the Traveling Wilburys that included Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra, and Roy Orbison. The opening act may be less known now but he has a very impressive musical resume. It was Steve Winwood, as a 15 year old prodigy, who sang "Gimme Some Lovin" with the Spencer Davis Group. This was a huge hit in its day and can still be heard on a regular basis on any classic rock radio station. He eventually formed his own band called Traffic. Traffic is well know and respected by all music afficianos. They blended rock, jazz, and folk music into a unique sound. Their biggest hits were "Dear Mr Fantasy" and "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys". In between different versions of Traffic, Steve Winwood was also part of a legendary band with Eric Clapton called Blind Faith. The debut performance of Blind Faith was played in front of 100,000 people in London's Hyde Park. He also has a number of solo albums/CD's, most of which are very good. I am really looking forward to these shows because it is the first time I have seen either act. Once again I am sitting on the lawn and once again thunderstorms are predicted. Let's hope some of the magic I experienced last week in Indianapolis happens again and I experience beautiful weather. If not, I will be "Running Down a Dream" in the rain with my friends. That's OK, too, because I will have my lawn chair and L. L. Bean rain parka! This was today's rock and roll history lesson.

It's a little difficult to segue from rock and roll history to Chinese philosophy but we will do it anyway......

Verse 20 of the Tao Te Ching is rather long so let me quote just a bit of it. I personally identify with much of what Lao Tzu says.

Most people have too much; I alone seem to be missing something. Mine is the mind of an ignoramus in its unadulterated simplicity. I am but a guest in this world. While others rush about to get things done, I accept what is offered. I alone seem foolish, earning little, spending less. Other people strive for fame; I avoid the limelight, preferring to be left alone. Indeed, I seem like an idiot: no mind, no worries.

I often live my life with the attitude of a visitor or guest in a strange and wonderful place. Sometimes life seems mundane but I often walk around lost in wonder. I am reminded of a trip I made to France a few years ago. It was my first and only trip to Europe so far. Most of the time I was there I was wide eyed and smiling. I kept pinching myself thinking, "Wow, I'm in France". Perhaps some of you have traveled extensively. I have not so it was a very big deal for me. The whole time I was there I kept thinking, "I am a guest here and I may never come this way again. Enjoy every moment". I try to have this same attitude in my everyday life. As the Tao Te Ching says, "While others rush about to get things done, I accept what is offered". In other words, don't let your life be consumed by busyness. Life will give you much without you chasing after it. Other times in my life I have been criticized for what appears as a lack of ambition. In the ways of the world, the only values seem to be the accumulation of power, prestige, and possessions. I have avoided these things intentionally. I prefer to influence rather than control. I enjoy a good reputation but do not like to be the center of attention. I like things but would rather need less than want more. Again, as the Tao Te Ching says, "Other people strive for fame; I avoid the limelight, preferring to be left alone. Indeed, I seem like an idiot: No mind, no worries.

I have completed Tom Brokaw's book about the Sixties entitled "Boom! Voices of the Sixties". I highly recommend it to the following people.

People who grew up in the Sixties and wonder, "What happened"?

Children of people who grew up in the Sixties who wonder, "What's up with Mom and Dad? Why are they so weird?"

Parents of children who grew up in the Sixties wondering, "Where did I go wrong"?

Anyone interested in history who has an open mind. Brokaw's book presents the reflections and stories of many people, i.e., male and female, African Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, liberals and conservatives, hippies and non hippies, Democrats and Republicans, as they reflect on what was right and wrong about everything that happened in that decade.

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