It’s been a busy few weeks for me, recently. Between the day job, doing chores around the house, singing with St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church choir, preparing for recording a new CD with “Balderdash and Humbug” and working on my own recordings for “table for one.”, I’ve had a lot on my plate.
I’ve also been thinking and evaluating my life and what is important to me as I’ve been prioritizing my time and trying to jettison things that have been “weighing me down.” So I’ve been working on decluttering my surroundings and life these days, in essence cleaning house physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Physically, I’ve been tidying the house and also culling the stuff that’s accumulated in my life. Let’s start with the CD collection and ripping what I want to keep to iTunes and ridding myself of excess clutter by selling, recycling, donating the rest. Any of my readers who know about my CD collection and want any (beyond the Rush CDs which my brother already has dibs on) hit me up soon and I’ll let you know if they’re up for grabs!
Books have been sorted and gifted to various individuals and organizations as well as set aside for my Little Free Library. A Little Free Library is a movement aimed at promoting literacy throughout the world while promoting community. Essentially I am in the process of constructing a home for a small selection of books curated by myself that I hope to house in a local business. These are books that will promote the values I support and respect, including a healthy respect for the environment, a healthy lifestyle, the arts, creativity and supporting my local community. More on this in future blog updates!
Some of my closer friends have been questioning why I am now singing in a church choir, noting my past experiences with organized Christianity. Before I signed the contract with St. Paul’s, I asked myself the very same question. Noting that I have had such negative experiences with the Anglican and Presbyterian churches, I was asking myself if I was setting myself up for further disappointment and disillusionment with Christianity and God.
For those new to this blog, I have had two major blow ups with organized Christianity that were based in the failings of the people who claimed to represent God, but in reality, truly represented only their own interests, abusing their power over me. Ironically, both incidents which targeted me as a homosexual and attempted to victimize me, strengthened my resolve as a gay male and helped me grow as an individual who was raised in modern Christian society.
I ended up realizing that my relationship with God or whatever you choose to call the force that set this universe in motion, was personal to me only and that I did NOT have to join ANY church as a parishioner. I could continue my relationship with the universal force personally using the gift of music that I was given to glorify the power and celebrate my relationship with it.
The fact that I am getting paid to do this is a bonus! I am keeping professionally detached at this point and avoiding affiliation with the church beyond being a paid chorister. I think that will minimize any collateral damage should the “shit hit the fan.”
So my feelings of hypocrisy have been sated. I still consider myself a spiritual humanist who was raised with Christian values. My last “serious” blog entry confirms that I choose to do things not out fear of salvation or punishment in a hypothetical afterlife or next incarnation, but as it is the right thing to do. Yes folks, I practice the “golden rule” and endeavour to treat people and the world, the way I wish to be treated in return. But remember this, don’t expect to be able to shit on me and expect me to thank you for it, because it ain’t going to happen!
I’m headed to North Carolina in the next couple of weeks, where I will enter studio m in Durham in order to record the next Balderdash and Humbug disc “The 55 Days of Christmas,” which will include new holiday parodies expressing the mutual ire of DB and I about the increasingly commercial and harried nature of the holiday season! I will also hopefully use the time to get ground work on “table for one.” started as well, or at least pick the brain of a talented producer and engineer.
I’m doubly excited because Mark, the owner of studio m, has just signed to Yep Roc records (home of bands like the Sadie, Sloan, Gang of Four, John Doe and the Reverend Horton Heat) with his band, the Old Ceremony and their new album is due to drop this summer! If you haven’t checked out the Old Ceremony, you’ve done yourself a disservice. Incredible song writing and they are amazing to watch in performance. I can only hope they tour for their upcoming album.
During all of this, I have been interviewed by the local newspaper as a diehard bicycle commuter, have had a number of photo shoots for both “table for one.” and the interview, learned the art of hand binding books (no shit folks! Watch for some cool stuff here soonish!), volunteer as a gallery attendant for a local art gallery, continue to write songs for both my solo stuff and bloodwood. Stuff while continuing to plug away with increasing my physical fitness and health.
The bloodwood. shit is becoming increasingly incredible! People who have heard rough samples have called it “Dead Can Dance meets Wilco” – a description which makes me exceedingly happy!
No rest for the wicked indeed!