This is a day that most of the world wishes were just a regular, non-eventful day, blessed with sunshine, not devastation, September baseball, and for me, high-mountain-small-stream fishing. It is not. Nine years ago that all was changed by a statement of hate so violent that the ethos of global sentiment was changed and distorted.
We Americans, who have felt so safe on our own soil, for so long, had that sense of blissful isolation stripped from their aggregate fantasy, and made to feel un-safe. We have focused, by and large, on our collective myth that we are a Christian nation, which we actually never were, because if we were truly a Christian nation, we wouldn’t have the foreign policies we have and we would be a lot nicer to outsiders overall.
But, I digress. 9-11-01 changed how I perceive and how I write songs. First I changed from writing story-songs and I went back to my roots in Rockabilly. In other words I went from songs about events and people to songs about fun and joy and wild-and-crazy excitement. AND, songs that brought that out in my listeners. Next in around 2005 I began writing songs that were political statements about an Administration I couldn’t stomach, but those songs turned out so bitter that I went back to writing the Rockabilly material.
I seem to have found a middle ground in my writing. I am writing Rockabilly and some Honky Tonk, but I have also discovered how to write story songs that are without the bitterness. I would like my nation to be the nation that teaches the world through its actions and policies how to lead with trust, love, hope, and generosity. I guess that being an artist I am given to pipe dreams and the like, but why not follow the John Lennon model for global enrichment and Imagine what we so desire?
Could it be that the world might be shaped by the dreams and prayers of us artists? Today I think I will spend most of the day dreaming about what it would be like if the hate mongers were swayed to love, and the fear-filled learned there is love enough to go around, and those who are wounded were healed. I am going to get out my 3wt fly rod and some surface flies, and go on out to the Russian River and dream a little dream…