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afterlife Death Death and Dying dying fall God heaven hell human music summer Trees

Buried with a tree

Simple things, you might imagine, a tree. You see them everywhere, pass them on your way to and from work, walk under, around, and in between them in the park, and grow them in pots in your living room. I have a rubber tree in my living room, it’s at least 25 years old.

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Look closely, that’s me halfway up.

I own a little section of wooded property with mature oaks, maples, and hickories. I climbed a tall oak in the backyard a couple of years ago, just to prove to myself that I could still do it. I wish I could identify each and every tree I came upon, at the most I can name maybe a half dozen or so.DSC06240

Trees silently tell me that I’m not so important in the grand scheme of things. I strain my neck trying to see what’s in their upper branches, but it’s only the wind and the leaves struggling against it. A battle that is never won until autumn.

Black gum (2)Trees produce oxygen, clean the soil, trap carbon dioxide, provide cool shade in summer and warm heat in winter, act as noise barriers, and give us something to climb on.

I came across a very intreeguing article recently about burial alternatives. Did you know that you can have your remains put in a biodegradeable burial urn along with a tree seed of your choice and then be planted? I’m rethinking my burial plans, I suggest you do the same.

I’m also making a play list of songs I want folks to hear at my Final Party. Death Cab For Cutie’s “Stable Song” will be on it, because it’s beautiful, and so are you.

Categories
folk music gardening mandolin music new music summer writing

Shting shtang shtung! (Your brain on music)

I’m inspired by most music I hear, especially live music. I carry some of that inspiration around with me, and  when I’m playing out somewhere with my band, Mandolin Whiskey, it’s used as fuel. Music also fuels other things; my writing, gardening, washing dishes, doing the laundry, conversations, listening, and when not to listen. That last one may seem odd but my brain, and your’s, needs a rest every now and then.

I wonder how long we’d last if thinking required physical exertion? Probably not very long. Some folks go on long walks saying that it helps them think better. Does your brain physically exert itself when you say “I’m going on a long walk to think things over?” Do we think too much? Cerebral congestion, hmmm, is there such a condition? Are we at a point where the deluge of data is deafening? Music helps my noggin clear the congestion, ease the flow of traffic, it steers me into the rest area.

I listen to all kinds of music, but tend to shy away from hip-hop, although I can certainly see the art in it. I’m not big on country music either, other genres such as rap, jazz, and classical don’t frequent my play list much. But again, I appreciate the art that goes into it, and there’s been times when a certain hip-hop or rap song will inspire. My son AJ introduced me to a new genre recently called “trap,” I’ve not added any to my playlist yet, but I’ve heard a few of AJ’s selections and they inspired a thought or two.

While digging mulch the other day I unknowingly disturbed a nest of yellow jackets. Two were inspired by the noisy disturbance to initaite defensive posturing, which of course led to a painful experience for me. I wasn’t listening to music when this happened.