I sing songs and play tunes with Heart, con Corazon. The old new Mexican marchas, cutilios, cuadrillas chotises y polkas; old Texas Blues, Quebecois Reels & Jigs, Gospel & Honky-Tonk, Labor & Union Songs, Folk and Protest songs, a song of the Sea, an Appalachian murder ballad or a 500-year-old maiden’s lament — my repertoire is a Mile Wide and an inch deep. The inch-wide, mile-deep repertoire can’t hold me, though i respect those who go that route.
I was a wood-cutter, log-faller, pole-peeler, mill hand, published author, migrant fruit picker, tree planter, construction laborer, mechanic’s helper, taxicab driver, daycare worker, a ditch-digger, substitute teacher from pre-school to college, hitch-hiker, student of two-legged people and their ways, baker, sheepherder, weatherizer, dish-washer, landscaper,panned for gold, been a farm hand, ranch hand, personal attendant, both an actor and an extra in the movies, truck driver, fugitive, rock-breaker, been a cane-cutter, harvested beans, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, grapefruit, apples and oranges, bucked hay, plowed and skidded with horses and mules, built log cabins and made adobe bricks — plumbed, wired, framed, poured concrete & plastered. Ridden bulls and horses, castrated, dug post holes, butchered turkeys and hogs, goats, snakes, lizards, bugs & calves — mostly with the owner’s permission.
I’m a student of history, a believer in the Spirit of the Universe, a grandpa, a Dreamer, and a Local. I’m a dried-up old drunkard, a veteran draft-dodger, back-to-the-land, hope-to-God-to-die, a Proud, Born-Again Hippie. I’ve done lots of things I’m not proud of, but I’ve made amends the best I can. I believe we’re all here on assignment, to re-weave the Sacred Web of Life. Since we agreed to come here to do this work, it doesn’t become us to kick and complain. Happiness in itself is an unworthy goal, but rather a by-product of a life dedicated to Love & Service. We need to each become Warriors of Love and Justice.
May these old songs and tunes strengthen your heart; may your family be mended, may you never eat food grown by strangers, and from that center of Love may you venture forth each day to offer your own peculiar gift to those you find!