Monthly Review Kickoff
Hello everyone and let me start by saying thank you so much for your wonderful responses to As I See It! Your comments have been as generous and complimentary as they have been insightful. I am grateful for your time and the unique perspective each of you bring to the larger conversation. Some of you have been a bit shy about posting to the comments page, but there is no need to be shy here. The comments page is for everyone who would like to join in the discussion, that broad perspective can benefit all who visit. I am gratified to find that As I See It has found a home in each of you.
This month, as you know by now, we have announced that we will release my CD in August on iTunes and other entertainment services. The CD is a cross-section of material in that it contains acoustic, electric, unplugged and full band songs. It represents the first musical facet of As I See It, and since I wrote all the material, the writing style may seem familiar; however, the content is fresh. I was proud to work with a number of fine musicians and two fantastic studio producers in Mr. Pratt and Mr. Order. We hope you enjoy the collection and you know where to post your feedback.
I’m glad to see that on the poetry side of the site, you enjoyed the range covered by the first full wave of pieces. Ships in Bottles, for example, seemed to resonate with folks who at some point in their lives where carrying some burden and often not knowing where to turn for help, until some event or person made a difference in their situation or self-perception. Whatever was the catalyst, what they remembered was the person or situation and the feeling of release and joy that in an instant made all things seem new again. I had a stand-out experience of my own a few years ago as well, so in the interest in getting things rolling in our chat let me share that with you now.
I was at a local grocery store here in Southern California, standing in the checkout line of my favorite cashier, Jan. (Doesn’t everybody have a favorite cashier?) Ahead of me was an elderly woman who was having her treasures rung up as she fuddled in her purse for her checkbook. This to the chagrin of the folks behind me, glaring back and forth franticly at her, then back again at their watches! There must have been something very exciting goin’ on somewhere that I didn’t know about because everyone was in a rush, armed with fast track paying plastic of every breed at the ready for warp speed checkout. I noticed that this lady was buying an inordinate amount of beef, steaks, chicken, all sorts of barbeque trimmings as well as candy, cakes and on and on. I thought if it was all for her she would surely explode! I also noticed that despite the large volume of groceries, that there was no husband around or any helper at all. I thought, maybe she’s a widow. Perhaps a bit lonely, and throwing a party to get family together. It was then, that no sooner than I got an idea in my head, that cashier Jan through me a look that said she knew I was up to something. She could see the wheels turning in my head as I slowly pulled the divider from between the lady’s groceries and mine with the skill and guile of Copperfield. She noticed nothing as she had nearly rescued her checkbook from the very bowels of her handbag. Jan shook her head and smiled and continued to ring things through, the woman’s items then mine. Jan knew because I have a bit of a history for such hijinks, and I thought that if I ever do a video for my song “These Fences” I’m putting this scene in! Finally, both her and my items were totaled. By now she had found her checkbook! She looked up at Jan, Jan looked at me, I looked at her and the people behind me looked back at their watches! It was like the scene in an old western just before a shootout. I said, ” my name is Chris and if you don’t mind I’d like to buy those things for you today”. She looked at me, a total stranger as if I had lost my mind. Then her expression warmed to me and the idea. An eternity passed in the next two minutes as I am sure the watches on the folks behind me just stopped. She said, her voice breaking under the weight of a tear that then fell from her eye, “that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.” She asked what’s my name again and I told her that that wasn’t important but what was important was that, “you don’t eat all of that at once, just pace yourself, OK?” Her tears yielded to a smile and another of my grocery store favorites, Lauren, finished bagging the woman’s things. (Everybody has a favorite grocery store bagger, right?) I went back there a few weeks later and the women had taken the trouble to leave a card for Jan and Lauren to give to me as a thank you. That day, I was the one with the tear in the eye.
I suppose everyday we all have the chance to be the “Child King of One Kind Deed” like the character in Ships in Bottles, with the ability to make all things new again for a stranger with one simple but meaningful act. Kinda makes you feel powerful doesn’t it? Well, it should. You are powerful! As long as you have a choice and you keep your brighter angels within reach, you can be the King or Queen for a Day! So choose wisely.
So, let me close out here by thanking you in advance for all the things I’m about to learn from your experiences. All your comments and conversation on the material and how it relates to you or your lives or anything at all that comes to mind as you read or listen is fair game. No judging here. I eagerly look forward to hearing from you all in the new “Your Voices” page, and until then, of course, Peace.