Update at Winter’s Solstice

December 19th, 2011Imagine Nation

Days are getting shorter, and I feel us rushing into winter, blown like leaves. On the 21st it will be the dark of the moon nearest the dark of the sun, and the serious candle lighting will begin. After four shows in two days, and a stretch of lessons, student recitals and the like before that, I had a Day Off yesterday. Imagine that! In fact as I write this I’m wearing a red and black checked flannel shirt and Carhartt bib overalls.

Tonight it’s back to show #3 of our annual holiday show, my only commitment for the next few days. Then it’s time off until 2012. My first show of 2012 will be a triple header at Eugene’s Oak Street Speakeasy with a fantastic sisters-harmony group, the Douglas County Daughters, the Low Tide Drifters and the Alder Street All Stars. String band music for the New Millennium.

2011 has been a fun year. It’s even fun to say: twenty-eleven, twenty-eleven. Sounds like something a five year old would make up. But how the world has changed in serious ways. Decades-long dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya are gone. The Occupy movement raises questions without seeking to take power. The farther away from the real world our politicians go, the more irrelevant they turn out to be. Despite the failure of anyone in office to even understand, we are closer to universal health care than ever. Look what happened in Vermont. Whoo hoo!

I’ve spent a couple of inspiring evenings playing instrumental guitar at the Egan Warming centers, where a wonderful crew of volunteers provides soup and a warm place to sleep when the mercury drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Named for Major Tom Egan, a veteran who froze to death on a street not far from my house two years ago, the centers are a great example of a community working together to maximize the effect of limited resources. Warms me just to be there.

My website, www.chicoschwall.net is sort of in stasis. The merch page is not functioning and the calendar won’t update. I lost my web guy to a real job (tragic loss), but I have a New maven lined up and we’ll be back in business as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience.

Hope you’re warm inside and out wherever you are, that the holidays bring you some peace and relaxation, some loving contact with others, and whatever else you want from life. Health and abundance in the New Year! (clink)