Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Small time

Last night my wife and I attended a house concert here in Eureka Springs. The concert was performed by two singer/song writers, one from Canada and the other from North Carolina, who travel and write music together, Corin Raymond and Jonathan Byrd. The concert was poorly attended (in numbers) as it had been rescheduled from an earlier date that had been canceled due to snow. There was little time to get the word out. But the few people in the audience did little to affect the rousing performance by wonderful, skilled and creative musicians.

Anyone wondering about the hands, needs to sit and watch (and listen to) a guitar in the hands of an artist like Jonathan Byrd.

The music business is a funny one. Men and women are compelled to follow their inclinations toward things that bring them the most joy, and who can argue with that. For some that inclination leads to international success like those performers on the Grammy awards the night before. But for many, many others, "There will always be a small Time," which is celebrated by Corin Raymond's lead song and on his new album each of the same name.

My daughter Lucy's Engineers Without Borders project in Ghana is being considered for inclusion in a PBS series Planet Forward. You can vote on its inclusion in Planet Forward on PBS. And so, in so many things, we are lured forward by the big time, or the next big thing, AND there will always be a small time. People's lives being made richer within small communities or within the confines of a small concert hall.

The hands themselves are so simple. They touch and give shape to every facet of human reality and they do so without laying great claims for themselves.

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, as you can see in the photo above, the 7th and 8th grade students worked on their hand made journals for school travel. My objective is to put it all in their hands, so we discussed learning styles as an introduction to the day's lesson. Students found that they were required to look, and listen and do in order to fully understand the process. We also noted that listening is more effective at some times than others. For instance, listening is of greater value when you are at that point in the process at which verbal instruction is most useful. Until that point, words tend to be a waste of time, and kids fed a steady diet of (to them) useless language, stop listening.

I have also been taking beauty shots for the making small cabinets book including this one: 

Make, fix and create.


  1. Anonymous12:15 PM

    I am a house mate of Corin Raymond's and a faithful reader of your blog - I was happily surprised to see this random but inevitable connection.

    I have sent Corin a little message about your blog and hope that he gets to read your kind and wise words.


  2. Michelene, it is a very small world. Corin's performance was wonderful as you would know. His talk between sets was comfortable, and funny. And we were pleased to be in attendance. In this era of iPods and downloads, there is nothing quite like live performance, and the multi-sensory experience of seeing, hearing, and meeting passionate musicians, and the little UU church where the concert is held has excellent acoustics. I am only sorry that more of my friends and neighbors missed THEIR chance to see and hear the concert.

  3. Anonymous5:36 AM

    Music is not something to be done for the money, but for the love of it. If money comes, that's a bonus of no small magnitude. Like the kids working on their journals, it's the hands and the brain and the rest of the body working.


  4. Mario,I have been one of the lucky ones to fall into a profession that I love. There are many who say, "someday." It was obvious that Corin and Jonathan loved playing, singing and performing with a live audience. It is a tough life. And when I used to do more craft shows, I found it challenging to spend so much time on the road and facing such uncertainties as not knowing whether or not work would sell. One of the things about Corin's idea of small time is the inevitable connection with small town, kind of like what you have created for yourself in your small part of Buffalo. Gone are the days for most when lives were all regarded as OK without the notable success in the BIG world. I think we may all have longings for a return to small towns, small times, and the sharing of creative pleasure with friends. It really doesn't get much better than that.

    By the way, Michelene who commented above, has a song named after her on Corin's album. Small times, small town, small world. Don't you just love it?

  5. Anonymous4:45 AM

    So we come back to enjoying our work and keeping in touch with what's going on with our own small places. Not a bad life. It seems so obvious, and it's such a mysterious concept for some.