Saturday, February 21, 2015

How Small?

It doesn't take much to make me feel small, insignificant. Lately I've been around some writers, not just folks that I admire, but artists who just knock me off my feet. Take my breath away. Choose your own cliche. Today it was Alex Harvey. As usual, anyone with that much soul and that much talent shows up with that much grace and class, too.

It finally occurs to me that I allow my heart to play in the street so that I'll have something to write about. When I listen to the heartbreak in other folks' songs I recognize that the blues isn't something that you "put on" to go to work and "take off" when you come home from the office. Oh sure, you have some of those white guys with stratocasters who have learned the blues scales and the faces where you do fish things with your mouth while you roll your eyes heavenward.

I'm talking about Blind Willie McTell, Arthur Alexander, Hank Williams, Aaron Neville. It's the stuff that connects all our hearts in common sorrow and expresses the real nature of loneliness.

If I had known, I would have chosen more wisely. Heck, it hasn't even brought me fame, money, recognition. I do it because I don't have a choice, I suppose. I do it for the reason that Lucky Teter kept jumping cars; the reason that Chung Ling Soo insisted on catching that bullet in his teeth; that crazy voice that calls Wallendas out there on the wire, that's it.

Alex seems happy. Settled. At peace. Something happened, somewhere though, that gave us those songs. 

Mine? You're welcome to them. To quote Vivian Stanshall, "I could have been a doctor or an architect."

My heart's full of peace and love. My pen scribbles heartache and sorrow.

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