A picture of an old rusted tractor in the middle of a field, grass growing up around it, paint peeling, is inspiring. It conjures nostalgia, dreams deferred, fields that held hope for future crops gone fallow. An object that gave so much, worked so hard to insure our well-being, now put out to pasture, like a Percheron plow horse past his prime finally allowed to enjoy time and place. It’s the visual encapsulation of Man’s Relationship to Nature and Time. It’s a reminder of the beauty of nature as it should be, left alone with the detritus of man’s industrial efforts to tame or conquer the inevitable, forward movement of time.
It’s that time of year – The Ides of March – Julius Caesars’ day of ultimate reckoning, when nature conspires to fill the days with harbingers that I somehow imbue with meaning. It is neither winter nor spring, it is time in the motion of balance, which way will the pendulum fall? I see the dark clouds roll and rumble in and I am filled with foreboding, an excitement of the unexpected. Julius Caesar had a few of these around his day, according to Mr. Bill Shakespeare. An eclipse, and an earthquake, a soothsayer roaming the streets “Beware the Ides of March!!”, lions roaming the streets of Rome, all preceded the warning of his prescient wife not to go to the Forum today. Not Today!
Omens, symbols, harbingers; events, objects, feelings that we give meaning and significance to that are, in our life’s compass and scope, larger than the events or objects themselves. An eagle has nothing to do with these United States, a crow on a branch has nothing to do with the next steps we take, the dark clouds have nothing to do with the success or failure of our next meeting.
A tractor sitting in a field … is a tractor sitting in a field. But, no matter how pragmatic I try to be, how dry and factual, and realistic I try to be, it also speaks to me of the impermanence of existence. It reminds me that nature is always the winner, outlasting us, none of us gets out alive.
On the other hand …
Maybe the tractor is a reminder that, yes, nature is the winner, and that I too, am part of nature, I get to see this field of grasses growing tall, the symbiotic relationship of the wildflowers and the thistles and the birds finding the blue-blossoms, the rabbits finding a nesting den under the cover of the tall grass, the soil reconstituting itself, feeding, creating what it needs to ensure it’s survival. I have the opportunity to reflect upon the growth and wisdom in the passing of time as the rust slowly
decompose the hunk of metal back into it’s most elemental state. It’s a miracle.
I guess it’s all in how you look at it.
And if my experience of four days in Kansas City at the Folk Alliance International Conference is any ‘harbinger’ of the future, I think it’s looking pretty dang rosy! I met so many wonderful musicians, and people in the business of music business whose support and love of the music is infectious to anyone within throwing distance of a tractor! To try and describe the spontaneous eruptions of musical groupings and late night Hotel Room combobulations of instrumentations would never do justice to the experience. Imagine 3 entire floors of a major Hotel chain (The Westin) completely taken over by the spirit of insanity and creative exuberance of over 1000 musicians.
I have no idea what lies ahead One foot on , one foot off the red carpet
With a long lost friend I met for the Sunday- yes - the best Bloody Mary
first time - Mundy - from across the sea I ever had , well deserved at Harvey's
See I told you, you could never imagine it. I know I didn’t know what to expect and was blown away. To step out of the elevator and see floor to ceiling posters, pictures, random writings on the wall, lights, sounds, every room was a festival of it’s own. This community of folk musicians is impressive and imposing in the power of connectivity as experienced over those four days. I got to meet people, play music with people, listen to people, learn stuff and see the future coming to light with the imminent release of my 2Ton Bridge album!! Yes!
So many thanks go out to Dave Stoddard, Mundy, Dave Navarro, Mary Sack, Jill Kettles, Christina Wright, Mike Green, Laura Thomas (Comboplate Booking), Ken Gaines, Jeffrey Foucault, Eric Heywood, Jim Olsen, Chris Frymire, Bert, Clay Pasternak,
Impossible to make a comprehensive list ….
While working on the album release, I have also had the pleasure of a once in a lifetime (well, maybe there’s more) day in the studio recording more new music with the incredible likes of Jerry Donahue, Dave Mattacks, Matt Malley, Charlie Otte, Mark Serridge, Marvin Etzioni. I feel great about it all and can’t wait to get it out there as well.
The Residency at TRIP will pick up again in MAY !
We had some great times there over the winter with Jerry Donahue, Mark Serridge, Charlie Otte, Max Kaplan, Joachim Cooder, Marvin Etzioni, Little Helen Rose, Jonah Tolchin, Danny Roaman, Heather Nation, Shea Vaccarro, Michael Harris, Tommy Senter … Probably more …. Be sure to hang in there for more word on that return to Second Sundays at TRIP in Santa Monica.
I’m going to be putting out some surprise little videos – ideas that have been germinating for a while now – to keep you all in the creative loop of inspiration – so you can join me on the 2Ton Bridge. You can always find out the latest by going to 2Ton Bridge.com
- it’s all there.
In the meantime, if anyone tries to load your wagon down with ominous omens …
turn ‘em over and see what’s on the other side.
What’s on the other side of your 2Ton Bridge ?