I was raised on Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin.
Later, my dad branched out to Glen Campbell and Anne Murray.
He listened, leaned back in his gold polyester Lazy-Boy recliner, drumming on the wooden arm rests.
I’ve been playing a bit of chair lately, myself.
Songs of my journey. Most of them, campfire songs from all the years of Camp!
I was in awe of the older counselors who could sit on a stump, play a guitar, and lead the singing for 100 or so girls.
And some guys, too, when I started playing Camp Nurse/Pastor for outposts of the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Committee.
I remember all the words to all the Camp songs. It was part of my job!
The ones that live in my heart, though, are songs paired with particular times and contexts.
Lots of Peter, Paul & Mary. James Taylor. Simon & Garfunkel. One Tin Soldier. All the songs from the March on Washington.
I don’t remember it, first hand, but, by 1968 when my school system (and my parents) were freaking out about de-segregation in Florida, it seemed like the video footage was everywhere.
Forest Gump probably had a lot to do with that, too!
Viet Nam. Peace protests. The Women’s Movement.
It wasn’t always okay to say what I thought in some of those times, but I could sing along.
(Not well, by the way, and often with tears.)
Context has been heavy on my mind, these last few years.
And I suspect, especially in light of the pandemic and so many other tragedies, we’re going to need some new music.
Our kids are going to need some new music.
While we wait for it to emerge, I’m working on the playlist for Grammy Camp!
Lots of guitars. Things real people could actually sing. Grandmothers. Elders. Aunties. Teachers. Even, as you’ve noticed, some very brave Grandfathers.
And, in between singing moments, we’ll be working through some of the ways we can most help the littles, and not-so-littles, we love most. They need us!
I suspect our paint journey will be more helpful than macrame’ lanyards of old! I didn’t really learn much or invite my feelings out where I could converse with them tying scratchy rope into knots. (Though I’m all for prayer knitting!)
Here’s the thing, though. We can’t help our kids if we can’t process our own stuff. In a (virtual) circle.
So, send me some suggestions for the playlist. (Count on Blowin’ in the Wind!) And CLICK HERE to check out all the details. (Even if you’re not sure about this whole adventure, check out the info. You might know somebody who needs to hear it, too!)
And, if you’ve never been to Camp, Hobby and I have got you!
ps… in honor of Work-in-Progress Wednesday, the painting is my Medicine Basket which began in our workshop last Saturday. The Muse is in charge. I’m just holding the brush on this one! Here’s a close-up…