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Feats of renewal…

by | Oct 18, 2020 | Feet (Followership), Little Feat, renew

My new profession is a lot like teaching Sunday School.  You enter someone’s life, and for a season, are with them for a part of their journey.  Hopefully, things go well, and at least with 6th-grade boys, they graduate and didn’t have to listen to us any longer.  But you wonder – did any of this actually make a difference?  For a number of years, we taught material on developing a Plan for your Life – actually write down some idea of where you wanted to go as you were “coming of age” and able to start separating your thoughts from those of your parents.  One of them is still in touch with us, and so far, while it is not exactly as planned, many of the foundations have played out as he had anticipated… 

… I have recently been connecting with leaders I have worked with before – mostly to see how they are doing particularly with all of the changes we are being forced to digest.  It is an interesting experience… there is no contract, no agreement on exactly what to be… and to assume/presume we are actually “friends” is also interesting to balance. As I work with people, I often see things they don’t… and the trick is to wait to see if they see it, or is it just me, or is it just something they don’t want to pay attention to. Either way, I keep the “cone of silence” in my own head for these observations. It really is about their experience, and what they are able to work with themselves.  Like the teacher above, I have a view, but it is really their thing…

I included the lyrics below because there are so many pithy statements there that you might miss them.  They were written by Martin Kilbee a frequent collaborator with Lowell.. but he chose to have his credits listed as Fred Martin… so that the song would be shown as written by “George/Martin” – their homage to the Beatles producer.  It was commercial enough sounding that Warner Brothers didn’t drop the band after this second album…. but because it didn’t really chart, it led to the changes that brought Paul on guitar, Kenny on Bass, and Sam on percussion.  So by “failing”, it caused the changes that then lead to the most productive and longest stretch of hit records the band would have… and the line up that continued well into this century.  Sadly many of those original 6 are now gone… 

… but their influence doesn’t.  I was strolling around the internet, and ran across a view of what the song is about… which was mostly crap…BUT it included this interesting rendition by the bass player for Phish – who needed a song that started with E for a set called “Most Shows Spell Something”.  It was also on Bob Weir’s solo Album Bomb’s Away in a slower more contemplative version – which lead to Lowell George helping to produce the Dead’s Shakedown Street the next year.  It is an interesting thing about producing something… it can be seen in different ways, interpreted differently by others, and often in ways you can never really anticipate.  As with any leadership or helping profession, you hope that it was helpful, but the interpretation and application is up to others… in their context, in their frame of reference, which is never the same… 

For one of the conversations, my wife brought down some homemade crackers and wine (which were delicious…) and overheard my tone.  Mistaking it for yelling, I had to reflect when she brought it up… what was my motivation/intent… and was it really achieved?  As the song says, it is SO Easy to Slip.. particularly in these confusing times where all elements of the foundations we are standing are shaking, we are all walking uncharted territory.  We started the week with Columbus… Waiting, and the Day… and discussion of what exactly is leadership? I took some crap for what I said… but like the man, I am happy to be misinterpreted: heck – just interpreted would be awesome. Like this song, I put it out there… and you read it… and like my work, I hope it helps. But frankly, on the Sabbath, I know where my feet are planted. And that is not slippery. How about you?  As the song says, “Do you really exist at all?”  To me .. you do.  Thanks for reading and being along for the journey. Knowing each of you is renewing to me and I pray the same is true for each of you.

It’s so easy to slip
It’s so easy to fall
And let your memory drift
And do nothin’ at all
All the love that you missed
All the people that you can’t recall
Do they really exist at all

Well my whole world seems so cold today
All the magic’s gone away
And our time together melts away
Like the sad melody I play
Well I don’t want to drift forever
In the shadow of your leaving me
So I’ll light another cigarette
And try to remember to forget

It’s so easy to slip
It’s so easy to fall
And let your memory drift
And do nothin’ at all
All the love that you missed
All the people that you can’t recall
Do they really exist at all

 

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