Low 80’s in Chicago yesterday and today… perhaps summer is finally coming around, though they predict a bit cooler temps the next couple of days.
I’ve been working through several books and a very in-depth ebook on blues. Some of the material is nuts-and-bolts and not all that entertaining reading but much of it traces things like the core African influence, the melding of people groups from various language and tribal backgrounds alongside of whites in slavery times and how the music(s) influenced one another and so forth. Very interesting stuff.
Some of my reading clarifies and brings detail to the mix of Bible, African-American spirituals, very early field hollers, ring shouts and issues like sin, exile to exodus (Exodus, in fact) and cultures/sub-cultures all mixing together in song, performance, clubs and church gatherings.
I find the need for rest (“Selah”… a word most scholars think may have been a musical term in Psalms for “pause”… “stop and think about it.”
On the flight home a couple from Peoria who are both friends and also were at the Imagine Festival in Denmark ended up seated across the aisle from me. We chatted about a lot of stuff, and at one point my bro. asked what keeps me from burnout?
I’ve written blogs on this before, but the core of what I told him was that I truly do pray a great deal through each day, study the Bible daily, confess my temptations and sins regularly and have solid, long-term accountable relationships with leaders. I also take 20 minute breaks in our large community garden and in very cold, nasty weather still sit inside by a large window that allows a great view of the garden. That is, I get outside in the weather, in the elements. I get to the woods when I can and have learned to take breaks nearly every day just to clear my head, pray, get the sun or wind or a bit of rain in my face.
Daily time and focus on my amazing, sweet wife, kids and grandkids is huge! My friends, especially here in community as we live very close together provide a lot of joy and peace. We chat about fun stuff but also share about things that matter, local and world events, etc.. Having quite a few godly, trusted, long relationships with good people keeps my feet on the ground.
All of these relationships help me keep perspective.
What I didn’t mention is eating good stuff, exercise (which I don’t do enough of), and trying to get decent sleep are also very much part of the trick.
Lastly, I am amazed at how much I’m invited to participate in throughout our community, locally, in the U.S. and overseas… but the requests still come. Yet I’m very careful about calendar dates and trying to space touring out so that my own life and sanity aren’t compromised to the level of getting burnt out in the process.
Oh, I also build simple guitars, play ’em and mess around with alternate tunings, write a great deal of lyrics and music… and do enjoy soccer (the real football), NFL football, play around Linux computer operating systems and… dig HEAT on my tongue 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn