Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Don't Know - Thanksgiving Eve Thoughts

It's Thanksgiving Eve, and the moon looms over the lower-average grocery store.  I look across the street from my office window.  It seems extra dark this year.

  The Kindness Exchange kicked off last Friday, with the hopes of bringing some light into the season.  I'm extra glad I'm doing it this year, if for nothing else, for me.  I saw a lady on Facebook mentioning how hard this season is for those of us who have lost someone.  A student's dad got some serious family news while he was sitting in on his son's guitar lessons today. Another friend, a grandmother, is being an angel in such an uncertain time for her family.  I've got a few things I'm sad about lately, too.  

 It seems to be a full plate for everyone everywhere I turn.  I've been working on writing a song for The Kindness Exchange.  It's not about wishing the sun back.  It's about it being dark outside.   Things are tough sometimes, and I feel that acknowledging that is a way to cope.  A theme I keep scribbling is the idea that you hunt around in your pocket, your hand chapped and chilled...and there, among the pocket lint, sideways and flat against the threads so you missed it a first, is one match.  

  I guess all we can do is strike it, and light a candle, a lamp, or a beacon.  Maybe it'll light both of our ways back home.  

  What is this match?  What is this beacon?  I'm not exactly sure.  Maybe it's a kind action...perhaps giving the likely scammer a few quarters at the gas station (it's gotta be a hard way to hustle.)  Maybe it's sharing a smile and a laugh with a stranger to show that light doesn't always come from things being OK, and can happen in spite of darkness.  Maybe it's being kind to ourselves and letting anger melt away, or starting a spontaneous jam session on the street.  

 If you have any thoughts, let me know.  I'd love to hear them as I try my own ideas to bring some light this season, both for myself, and as part of the Kindness Exchange.   

  And, I know that Thanksgiving can be hard for a lot of people.  I'll be doing a Periscope concert tomorrow (Thanksgiving) for 20 minutes at 11:30 AM EST.  I'm @DontJoshMe on Twitter.  If you're having a good time, or if you're having a hard time, come on by and join in the fun. I'll be playing some seasonal faves, too., actually, even because of the difficulties I see and feel, I'm extra grateful this year to get to discuss this stuff with you, do crazy tours, talk silly, and talk serious.  It's an honor.  

Happy Thanksgiving.  

Let's light up that night.

- Josh 

Monday, November 16, 2015

How much does YOUR sadness weigh?

  Metrics.  The world runs on metrics.  What's the better deal?  How what's the zero to sixty time on this car?  "Now included - your free credit score!"  

  When something bad happens - something unimaginably familiar...barely as the sirens fade in the distance and the corners are on their second coffee break, the discussion begins.  

  It used to be that I dreaded the politics.  Watching the second tower fall on live TV on that bright and sunny September morning, I remember thinking of the wars and politics gnashing their teeth behind invisible doors, eager to run free and unquestioned any moment.  

  After Paris, it's something else...I've noticed how we compare griefs, like schoolyard children swapping stories about how their knees got chewed up over the summer.  "Why weren't you at their funeral?"  "Oh, that bomb was so much bigger."  Why do we feel the need to count mourners?  

  My sadness is not trendy, please do not suggest that it is.  It is willfully ignorant. As unfashionable as it is to admit, my heart, and my stomach, can only read about so much carnage at a time, so I do miss a lot.  But, it doesn't mean that I care less.

  I was talking to a friend about comparing sadness recently.  Her grief was the death of her mother.  Mine was my parents' divorce.  Apples and oranges, yet, on the scale, hers much worse than mine.  However, both of our hearts were split in two, and how do you measure that?  I've come to the conclusion that, for me, it's not a good idea to try.  

  As the darkness closes in, light is needed more than ever.  I'd like to ask you, me, and everyone a question confounding in it's child-like simplicity:

Can't we just be sad?

- Josh