Sunday, March 16, 2008

Accept and Move Forward

Life is often a series of disappointments broken by brief spells of happiness. That is why one should cling to those periods of joy like the gifts they surely are. The counting of one's blessings is an intricate part of the development of a good life. Storms do come and one must weather them. One's strength is measured by how well they handle such adversity. As I write this, I must confess that these words have the luster of cliches to my eyes. Yet cliches are but the truth told again and again and again. Being a writer, I often turn to words as a form of self guidance. And as a musician, I often turn to the writing of songs as a means of revealing to myself and to others some of the truths I have discovered in life, be it by melody or lyrics or ideally the combination of both.One thing that I have learned is that one must accept whatever life brings to us and move forward. Often we become trapped in the moment or revert to the past. The key is to always keep moving to a better day. So accept and move forward....and find your peace in this world.....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lincoln's Melancholy


I just read a book called Lincoln’s Melancholy and it is a fascinating read.  As a long time Lincoln lover, I have often pondered exactly what was the fuel behind his greatness.  Author, Joshua Wolf Shenk has put forth an interesting new take on what ran “the little engine that could”, as long time Lincoln friend and law partner, William Herndon famously called Lincoln’s ambition.   To put it simply, Shenk identifies Lincoln’ lifelong struggle with depression as the motivating factor behind his greatness.   This was of extreme fascination to me for I too have battled the dark forces of depression and have used my own wars against it to stoke my own creative fires.   Please note that I certainly do not have the hubris to suggest that I am on the level of Mr. Lincoln but only state that I can relate to the battle he waged within. 

Mr. Shenk also points to Lincoln’s use of humor as both a major tool in not only his political arsenal but also as a forceful weapon against his own depression.   I also could relate to this tactic for my own sense of humor has put me in good stead against those 4am feelings of the soul.   He also writes in great detail of what has been called “depressive realism”.   As he states, “depression often springs from fundamentally accurate perceptions, that in some situations, can be an advantage.”    Research has suggested that when people are not depressed, they are highly vulnerable to illusions, including unrealistic optimism, overestimation of themselves, and an exaggerated sense of their capacity to control events.   The author places these observations within the framework of Lincoln’s entire life and especially in how he handled the overwhelming stresses of guiding the nation through the horrors of civil war.

 This is but a brief overview of this fascinating book.   I would recommend it highly to anyone but especially to those who have dealt with the darkness of depression.   For in your darkest hours you can see you are not alone.   The ghost of Lincoln is indeed there with you…..

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Reedy Beat

Years ago a friend of mine and I started a magazine to promote local music in my area.  We called it The Reedy Beat, a take off on The Mersey Beat, which was the main magazine for the local Liverpool, England scene in the early 1960's.  They were instrumental in drawing attention to a group called The Beatles.   Seeing Liverpool had its Mersey River and we had our Reedy River it somehow seemed an appropriate name.   So now after a many many many years hiatus, I am bringing back The Reedy Beat in the form of a blog site and a Podcast.  I invite you to visit www.thereedybeat.blogspot.com   Songs, Reviews, and Interviews of the music of upstate South Carolina and beyond will be featured.  

Sunday, March 2, 2008

 

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