Ihad always been dedicated to service, to leaving the world better thanI found it, but now I sought to address the essential problem specifically,directly, and simply. I wandered about, speakingto people and playing for them, words and songs of peace, love, freedom,and justice. I never talked politics, but much of sociology, philosophyand spirituality; character and ethics; sensitivity, consideration, andunselfishness; of right and wrong. Simple truths and wisdoms gleaned fromhundreds of people, from Greek and Chinese philosophers to chance wordson the street, added to my repertoire. Eventually I wove the words andsongs into a seamless stream, a gentle dream, a simpletheme of harmony. In the universe, just as with music, there is harmonyand dissonance, good vibes and bad vibes. The point was to be sensitiveand aware, and consciously seek to be in harmony; within yourself, withothers, with the natural world, with the universe.
"...the universe is singing harmony,
here and now, you and me..."
Itraveledon, talking with and playing for anyone who stopped to listen, whereverI was.
I usually played on the street, even when I could haveplayed on stage, because it gave me the time to interact with people. SometimesI drew crowds of hundreds, sometimes people spat on me. I never tried tomake money, but people just kept giving it to me. At first it embarrassedme, then I realized that they appreciated what I was doing, and I shouldaccept their gifts with respect and gratitude. I was given more money thana simple wanderer needed, so there was not much point in trying to getgigs, and that wasn't part of my real purpose, anyway.
"...and everywhere you stop and take a stand,
echoes with the singing of a man..."
WhenI wasn't playing, I would return to the wild lands of nature, where I couldrelax and feel at ease. The natural world is in balance and harmony, awayfrom man's influence. To return to the wilderness was like listening toa perfect piece of music played to perfection, to recover from the strainof listening and trying to teach an elementary school symphonic band, filledwith players who stretch from the talented but unaware to the tone-deaf,and all oblivious to the fact that they are supposed to be playing together.I have found "civilization" most often irritating if not outright threateningand abusive, and though I love people, they are often hard to like; moreand more as people adopt arrogance and attitude as a replacement for compassionand character. Beyond that, I like the practical reality of the naturalworld and life lived in it, whether sailing or walking about. Pretenseand rationalizations don't light a fire or gather wood. The forces of natureare balanced upon, not overcome. And in the vast quiet and solitude ofthe wilderness, one must be oneself, for there is no one to act for, noone to speak to, except yourself and the Nameless. In the absenceof society's noise and distraction, the underlying realities of life comeout clear, and the Spirit speaks to those who will stand quiet and listen.
Now, after many years, I have recognized that the musichas a value of its own, and deserves to be allowed to go as far as it may,without my hindrance, whether from a desire for anonymity, a dislike of"business", or a spiritual priority that always saw the music as a tool,not an end in itself. I have tried to listen, even though I talk so much.And so many people have told me and asked me to share my music with morepeople, been so obviously moved. I have listened to the praise and thetears.
People asked me to record, so I did a couple tapes overthe years, but nothing serious. Then someone said, "It's not that you shouldmake a record, it's that you should leave a record." That moved me;and I have begun to try and record consistently. Many havesaid that I should do more with my music. So here I am, typing, not talking,trying to be "professional" for the first time, recording CDs and lookingfor ways to spread them, looking for ways to play for wider audiences.Though I will always remain the simple singer,.......an American Bard.
"...a quiet spot to break my bread,a warm place to make my bed, and the Road ahead..."
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