Feeding the soul of a poet means you have to be out there taking it all in, like a giant satellite receiver open to a barrage of ever-changing frequencies of ideas but the themes nearly always remain constant. Poets and musicians are inevitably pulled by the mystical muse that lives amongst us – in Nature, in the darkest heartache, and in a baby girl’s smile – and they listen keenly for its whisperings, which I say fall from the lips of God (or Creation or whatever you choose to call it). Poets and musicians are always pushing new ways to express the same old universal sentiments. The joys, grievances and poignancy of this brief and complex life are best realized and expressed with the push of a pen or the strum of a guitar caught up in a 4am fever of clarity.
Yesterday afternoon, I laid back on the lawn of Zilker Park at the ACL music fest and with the sun beaming on my face (and God lighting another new room in my mind), I took in with complete and joyous abandon, the prolific music of the Avett Brothers. Laying on that lawn, I closed my eyes to filter all the visual distractions and honed in mentally on the music, and it’s moments like those that make you feel fortunate to be a part of something that connects you to the human experience. I turned to my wife and said, “The ghost of Woody Guthrie is here with us today,” then I shut my eyes again as the boys sang:
“Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name.”
We’re heading out to ACL Fest 2009, Day 2. I’ll see you out there on that plain where musicians and poets meet to enjoy and sort through it all.