Journey on

I used to have a distant thought that there were two events that really connected us as humans. We were all born and we all must pass. The “dash on the tombstone dates” as Kevin Welch calls it, is where we all went our own way. While some similarities and parallel roads occurred, we didn’t reconvene on the big stuff till the end.

Now I’m beginning to shape the idea that while it looks different for us all, the “dash” is the thread that connects those two events for us as individuals of course but also as the family of man. The children of one Creator/ Creation.

I think that “thread” is answering in our spirits, the questions of the big mystery, or thinking we need to have the answer. When Richard Rohr talks about the impossibility of successful dualism, I think of how we understand it in our minds but our hearts refuse to get on board. But our heart, our spirit, is the Creator talking and in that there is no duality. The duality comes from the Creator, our spirit wanting us to progress and grow but our humanity, our culture, religion, fear and shame tell us we don’t really deserve it.

Those that dare to step into the dance of the unknown, to trust the Creator have never said they have all the answers. In reality the deeper they step into the unknown it’s understood that answers aren’t the interesting part. Answers are no longer the desire. Reality and connection, then relationship comes from the journey. The ebb and flow, the tides of the spiral. That’s where the meat is.

If not having the answers keeps us questioning and trying to connect everyday then that is a much better spirituality than thinking you have the answers. Because if you do think you have the answers, then the tendency is to camp out there and also to begin telling others what the answers are. Even reading that back to myself seems ludicrous, yet we all have participated in that. But hopefully we will trust that the Creator is bigger than religion, bigger than culture and that answers were never meant to be the goal.

If you don’t agree and you want to hold onto your traditions as though they are the holy part, then that’s fine. I just hope you give others the grace to hold onto what they feel in their hearts is the breath of the divine. If you get too far away from your brothers and sisters you will only see what separates you, not the thread of hunger to connect with the wonder and holy that lives in all of us.

Many Native people believe that those closest to the Creator are the infants that just came from God and the old ones who are about to return. They have a peace about them. I hope I can live in that peace with enough time to enjoy it and for my children to see it.

Peace to you all. Aho



Shine A Light: Brian Langlinais

Lafayette Louisiana native Brian Langlanais’ sohpmore record called “Tonight I Might” showcases the singers wide variety of influences. When you grow up playing Zydeco and Cajun dance music in Louisiana, you not only have the soul of the generations, but you are naturally a blend of all styles of music !

From the opening cut, Tennessee Hideaway, you can feel that roadhouse, blues, good time feeling coming over you. With a voice like honey, Langlanais takes listeners through R&B gospel tinged “I Was A Burden”, to the fine cover of Walt Wilkins’ “Tonight I Might”, Langlanais shows range and appreciation for all genres without losing his Louisiana identity.

Perhaps my favorite tune on the record is a Kevin Welch penned song called “Don’t Shoot The Snake In The Bottom Of The Boat”, and yes his treatment of “She’s Everything To Me” which I co wrote with Brian and our dear, late friend, Buck Jones, touches me deeply.

You can buy all the popular music you want and there is much out there that is good, but you could also drop a few dimes on someone that you’ve not heard of, and find a real diamond. That would be Brian Langlanais. Tell me how you liked it !


All Of That From An Egg !

I suppose when you start speaking about how little moments in life are special, some would say you start to sound old. Well, I don’t care what folks think, and my opinion of that would be that you grow into age just like you grow into wisdom. The young ones just haven’t been on this earth long enough to articulate these things. But, they feel them, everybody does if they are listening. One day they will know how to listen.

The other night around 930 pm, I was standing at the stove cooking some eggs for a late supper. This great feeling came over me almost as if I were in a movie. But it was my movie, my life and some random memories that it holds. One of those sort of deja vu moments. It was just a re-member…..My Grandmothers kitchen, paneled walls, indoor/outdoor carpet, gold appliances, a pair of ceramic praying hands, and the smell of not only grits, eggs and bacon cooking, but it was the smell of security and love. The late night conversations, guiding me through life, reassuring me that everything would be ok.

Kitchens have always been the heart of the home. It’s where the richest parts of life seem to happen. Where we break bread, build friendships, find our nourishment, give sweet kisses of hello and goodbye. Kitchens make all the senses come alive, don’t they?, like they have their own heartbeat.

So standing there reflecting on those memories and thinking of my children and the paths they are on. Worrying some, wondering, being proud and knowing they will find their way to healthy worlds full of love, connection and peace one day gave me much satisfaction. For a moment everything in this crazy world seemed ok, if even just for a moment. A moment was good enough, as the smell and sounds of eggs frying connected me to years gone by and gave me a warm feeling of the ones to come… It was just a little moment…. but it all came from an egg !!!!!

I was listening to Kevin Welch’s song “A Letter To Dustin”  and Sam Baker’s “Waves” during the writing of this post.

Shine A Light: Kevin Welch

I found Kevin Welch’s music I guess sometime around 1990. I wasn’t living in Nashville at the time and it was harder to find good singer songwriters that haunt this town back then. Kevin had released his self titled CD and was getting some play off of the old Nashville Network. He had written hits like “Hello I’m Gone” for Trisha Yearwood and had a great song cut by Moe Bandy called “Till I’m Too Old To Die Young”. If you are ever interested in the craft of writing, then Welch’s music is a good place to start.

It’s great how the thread that runs through the artists you like can be so apparent. I believe it was Roger Miller who encouraged Kevin to come to Nashville, and it was Kevin that encouraged Walt Wilkins to come to Nashville. What great music was made by those three guys while they were here. Roger has passed away sadly and both Walt and Kevin have gone to Texas, where their art is flourishing away from the hands of the big Nashville music machine.

Kevin’s music is good medicine for the soul. I hear he has a new CD coming out in April of 2010 and you should be able to find it on I Tunes. It’s worth every penny !