IMAGINE buying a completely new kitchen for $200. Top of the line stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker—the works. You even get appliances you’ve never used before. Plus all new cabinets, countertops and sink. The works. Catch is, the supplier picks everything for you, guts your old kitchen, installs things where he wants and leaves you with the manuals. And all the new appliances are digital with new controls, menus, sub-menus and functions you’ve never seen before. And it’s time to start dinner.
That’s what just happened to me, musically speaking. After spending most of 2017 learning my previous recording and mixing program—along with how to use its highly sophisticated tools—I’m back to square one, more or less. Many tools are similar but are in different places, and there are complex new ones to comprehend, let alone master.
It’s deja vu all over again.
I didn’t have much of a choice as Mac operating systems march ever onward. And the latest OS ate my obsolete Logic 9 program. Fine then. Yes, it’s overwhelming—and yet intriguing. Lots of amazing new features to explore. Whether I can get up to speed by the beginning of March for the release of my next Song of the Month is anyone’s guess. I’ll try. But If not, here’s plan B: To release the simple version free and then the studio version when I get it done.
IF a song is sung in a forest and no one hears it, was there a song?
IN THE ESCALATING deluge of digital data—photos, graphics, videos, text—our miraculous technology has created an unintended irony. Although the computer and web have democratized media production and distribution, they have also created an overwhelming torrent of chaos and hucksterism. Everybody wants something from you. NOW!
And, I’m no different I suppose. Perhaps even worse: While I’m delighted to get your 99 cents from time to time, what I really want your attention, and I’m using the very technology that is demanding you escalate your response time to its relentless demands to instead request you stop and savor a song. Pretty big request.
All I can do is my best to make it worth your while. If you like what I’m offering, please share with others. But first, take a moment, take a breath, slow down and listen.
All day and all night: music. A quiet, bright song. If it fades, we fade. —RUMI
PACKAGING MYSELF as some kind of consumer product is beyond awkward, to say nothing of misleading. I’m far from 99 and 44/100 percent pure anything. But then, singing my songs to myself isn’t all that fulfilling either. It’s a dilemma. If it weren’t for the songs, I’d rather be doing something useful that isn’t ABOUT ME. That’s why I loved chaplaincy. But here I am, promoting myself anyway. What can I say?
I just hope I can use this little soap box to do some good.
WHAT IS this symbol? Where did it come from? What does it mean? Good questions all.
The simple answer is this: It is a single line and four dots that appeared one day while I was hunched over my drawing board, recovering from the soul damage I’d inflicted upon myself by being a willing participant in an immoral war. Mind you, I was never in any kind of danger, stationed on Guam. I suffered no hint of trauma compared to those in combat; but selling out corrodes the soul, regardless of whatever initial relief it may provide.
So way back when, while I was doodling with my Rapidograph pen, out came this symbol. I felt it had a remarkable presence and kept it, perhaps for some future purpose.
Whatever it is, I like it…
What does it mean? I don’t know; it’s a pure symbol. On a good day, I imagine it could be a representation of the many paradoxes of consciousness. It appears to be two beings, but is not. One appears to be in front of the other, but isn’t. The one “in front” appears to be contained, but is not; it’s as much on the outside as the inside. The one “behind” appears to be vulnerable, but is actually the one that would be solid if it existed. In terms of meaning, that’s what I’ve come up with over the decades since it appeared. And yet, it may not mean anything at all.
Whatever it is, I like it and have adopted it as my logo. I’ve also given it the name Erawa, which is aware spelled backwards. Seemed to fit.
I CAME up with this simple aphorism for the essence of spiritual care while working as a palliative care chaplain and had buttons made up for the team. Seems a good thought to share. It’s yours for the taking!