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January 12, 2011


The New Year should always be a time for introspection, and I try to look back each year in this column, but when drastic change happens and you find yourself in lots of places doing lots of different jobs with different people, it feels like you are watching a movie of your life instead of living it. Sometimes it’s a sad movie about a happy protagonist reliving his glory days when the rest of his crew has moved on (Kerouac’s Dean). Sometimes it’s about a driven man working at leaving his mark (Kerouac’s Sal, in a way).

After all I’ve done this year, I’m now stuck wondering if vision quests can wear off. My goal feels farther away than when I began and I’m at the point in the journey when everyone else’s path seems to be paying off with money and family while I have neither. Part of the issue is that I never wanted money or family, but that’s changed now, at least about the family. I’m finally ready.

I still want to leave my mark, fix the planet, but I don’t believe it’s possible anymore. I’m fighting a losing battle; year after year we humans exceed the worst-case emission scenarios while more and more people in America deny the existence of climate change. It’s amazing to me how we can live our lives with heads in the sand.

I didn’t really feel the calling for immortality until I took my vision quest back in 05-06 and considered the approach of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was really something. I think about the work that went in to gaining his prominence, the lonely nights working on sermons and crafting brilliance. The time spent “writing a sermon that no one will hear” had to feel fruitless at times. How did he get through the lows and stay motivated?

No one said it would be easy. MLK day is this weekend and I plan to reflect on his ability to remain on the path and focus on the quest, to put down the whisky and start writing sermons. It’s time to be great and let my deeds live forever.

Songs of 2010

I listened to a lot of new music in 2010. I checked my play counts in iTunes, which don’t mean all that much, but these songs were the top four, in this order. I was shocked, totally shocked!, to see that I had listened to one of my own recordings more than almost any other song this year. I wish I had that sucker on iTunes for download. “A-1 on the Jukebox and nowhere on the charts.” – BR549

High Road by Broken Bells
     Cause they know and so do I
     The high road is hard to find
     A detour to your new life
     Tell all of your friends goodbye.

Good Girl Song by Dixie Crow
     I’m a good girl, rub my belly

Tighten Up by The Black Keys
     I wanted love,
     I needed love, Most of all, (most of all)
     Someone said true love was dead
     And I'm bound to fall, bound to fall
     for you.
     but what can I do?

Rhinestone Eyes by The Gorillaz
     I'm a scary gargoyle on a tower
     That you made with plastic power
     Your rhinestone eyes are like factories far away
     When the paralytic dreams that we all seem to keep
     Drive on engines till they weep
     With future pixels in factories far away