Sunday, May 31, 2020

Break, Broke, Broken

Nobody can lead everybody. I'm convinced of that. I'm an anarchist at heart but I certainly don't preach anarchy. I'm painfully aware that there are lots of people out there who don't care if someone else's baby goes hungry as long as they get to drive a Lexus. Sadly, there are even more folks who don't mind my house burning down if they end up with a new Rolex and a smart TV. 

Thankfully most of us fall well within those extremes.

We can't make up for all of the hate and evil of our ancestors. We can change everything that we can agree is unfair in our present culture. 

Since we're not going to agree on what is, and what is not fair, we're gonna have to find leaders who are willing to help us find compromise. Leaders who are capable of explaining those compromises to us. Leaders with the compassion to accept the barrage of criticism of all extremes.

The good ones, the kind ones, the smart ones- they are well aware of the image of Jesus on a cross. President Kennedy's brains splattered all over a pink suit. 

No bad cop thinks he's a bad cop. No looter doubts that he deserves what he can carry. No elected official thinks that trading stocks based on insider information is any different than taking home a few pens from the office.

Seems to me we have two choices. We can find and encourage the best folks who are willing to sacrifice to lead us in change or we can watch it all burn down.

Pray for peace. Search for truth. Settle for love.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Broken Hip

To my casual friends I'm a luddite. Truth is, I love technology. The technology that makes my life better. The idea of having all the music at my elbow, digitally, is wonderful. Lasik surgery may be the best thing that ever happened to me, at least where I kept my pants on. Not a day goes by without me cheering central heat & air conditioning.

Now, I'm not so big on texting. Okay, boomer. Seems to me that if texting had come first, we would have considered telephone conversation a miracle. Wouldn't that be the logical technological order?

Really! You can actually hear them speak! Brilliant!

As you can imagine I love FaceTime. Zoom.

Have I mentioned that I have little affection for nostalgia? I like good movies. Interesting literature. Passionate music. Dirty sex. Oh, sure, I like hot rods that are pretty. I don't want to be shifting any gears, though, and I surely don't want to go fast!

Yeah, I'll only wear Jack Purcells. That's because James Dean wore them. If somebody comes along with more class than James Dean, maybe I'll consider a change.

Another mis-conception, I suspect, at least among ex-wives, is my problem growing up. Again, I'll take the parts that I like- going to bed when I want, finding the funny parts, talking to animals and crying when I'm tired- and I'll have nothing to do with the rest. You know, wearing ties, nose to the grindstone, get ahead.

My goal, if I have a goal, is to have done more good than harm when the score is tallied. To have used all the love up.

Monday, May 18, 2020

What Sparkles

Maybe beauty is just fleeting because of my attention span. Turns out I'm an introvert. Wouldn't take much to push me over to hermit. 

Now, we don't organize. The other loners haven't authorized me to speak for us as a group. I do believe that I speak for all of us, or most of us, anyway, when I tell you that we don't want to be alone. We're just no good at the alternatives.

If I hadn't carried a guitar around for all these years, I would have had no life at all. Sometimes it's hard to tell if I'm bragging or complaining.

No club, lone wolf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Humanity and Arrogance

Marching towards the inevitable void, I recognize my expertise. I know exactly as much on "what comes next" as some monk in robes who sells books on the subject. The secret, if I might refer to it as a secret, is an authoritative tone. Bluster, whisper- it really doesn't matter. Just tell 'em what they want to hear and paint a reassuring picture.

Of course I don't really march. Anywhere. Towards anything. I'm more a shuffler.

Having lived through the gas crisis, Y2K, disco and one other toilet paper shortage, I feel almost serene in the midst of this pandemic. I do stay awake worrying about the ones who are truly suffering. Like everyone else, I hope this ends soon.

Here's to a kinder, slower, more compassionate future. If you vote, vote for peace and love. If you pray, pray for understanding and kindness.

Friday, May 8, 2020

One For The Team

Once you've encountered truth, hokum is hard to swallow. I've tried to tell the truth, as I know it, for as long as I can remember. 

Has it paid off?

Well, not financially. Certainly not socially. Romantically? Are you new here?

I'm not bragging here. I just never got the hang of lying.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Trying To Get Back Home (The Last Obsession)

Pink walls and shiny pillows and a gardenia blooming right outside the front door.

All I've ever wanted is to get back home. Wherever that is. Whatever that is.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Between Birds and Stars

Have I ever given you a business card?

I didn't think so.

As nearly as I can recall, my first was our band calling card for The Raveons. My work experience up till then had consisted of bagging groceries and scooping mud out of the hulls of barges. Neither of those endeavors required much in the way of marketing. I was seventeen years old when we had these printed up. Maybe the fact that I still have some around will give you some idea of my self-promotional skills.

The next batch that I can find, poking through the treasures here, is from my next band, The Outsiders. Now we probably managed to hand out a few more of these. In fact, I'm not really sure that this is the first version of OS cards. Nevertheless, it's not time to re-order even though it's been about fifty five years since the last run.

After that there were occupations that demanded business cards, i.e. real estate, environmental protection, mortgage, and those that didn't- writer, hot sauce bottler and gadabout.

It occurs to me, finally, that my profession, if in fact I had a profession, is Ronny Elliott. I'm just no good at preparation, practice, rehearsal, posing, promoting. Others may simply refer to me as lazy. I don't really have the gumption to get up and argue with them.

Over the years I have been close to wealthy and it was fun. I've been poor more often. It wasn't too bad. If you talk enough, something's bound to rhyme. Voila! I'm a poet. I suppose I'm something of a philosopher, too. I seem to think a good bit as I sit around and, lord knows, I talk about it. I preach. You've probably noticed. Hasn't paid very well and I'm not sure I've comforted many folks, much less saved anyone.

Today, I serve as proof that some force will keep most fools from starving or freezing. It's up to us to help those others.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Rubbing Shoulders With Saints

Having rubbed shoulders with so many saints and having danced with countless angels, maybe I can answer some of your questions.

You're probably wondering how to find them. They'll find you. 

Likely as not, you won't have a clue that you're in some holy presence while engaged. 

Oh, they'll screw up. Everybody does. I've heard that Mother Teresa told the bawdiest jokes in Calcutta.

It's all about the love, not perfection. At least not "perfection" as described in your books and your temples. 

I saw that Elon Musk tweeted that he's getting rid of all of his stuff. It was never gonna fit through the eye of that needle.

All you need is love.