Fork in the Road
Is your suitcase packed for your next adventure?
Know which way to go?
Have your ticket to the promised land?
Me neither, but, that's ok. The latest release from those incredible young dudes The Infamous Stringdusters arrived on my doorstep this week and so it's all good, real good.
Last night I had dinner with a friend who is chewing on his resume and wondering what's next. I don't mind coaching my friends a little. For once I feel like I have a set of skills that is actually useful to the people in my life. This person has a long history of steady work in complex organizations. But when you want to reinvent yourself, how do you do it?
That's a good question. I've been working on it for a while now. I feel I'm closer than I was a year ago, but not close enough to leap.
Every now and then we find ourselves at the fork in the road. Sometimes we're on multiple journeys and come to a very forked road all at once. It can be a little daunting and sometimes choosing the path that looks right, or feels right, doesn't lead to the destination you'd hoped. The land of milk and honey can turn sour right quick when the thunder comes.
At one point I was certain that I had to move South. Have you seen the temperatures there lately? Nashville City Schools finally went to a half-day schedule this week, after kids and drivers endured 120+ temps on the school buses last week. Needless to say, it's just about as tropical right now in Ohio as it is on a cool 90 degree day in Tennessee or North Carolina. I'm not much motivated to tune up the skis left to me by my friend Souncreative who skipped town and is officially a happy Southehn magnolia now (with just two sets of skis).
On the other hand, it's really not just about the weather, it's about being closer to people who value what I value and who work in it every day. So maybe the trick is to find an environment like that, one that provides fodder for my passion and enough variety to hold my interest like the job I have now, but within a single institution. There are a few things that come to mind. The question is when, and for whom.
Exciting, but, scary.
I don't mind the fork in the road. Despite whining about change, I fairly like it. Well, I should say, I wouldn't like it every other day, but I like it enough to feel excited by the challenge and the perspective it occasionally brings.
But I respect that not everybody likes change. I have very good, very close friends who abhor it, and it's likely they find me odd and amusing but they put up with my boundless enthusiasm and vigor anyway.
I get through change like most everything else, with music. Fork in the Road is the title track from this Stringdusters effort, which everyone reading this blog should have. It is really a signature recording -- exquisite instrumental, a great mix of songs, lots of harmonic and instrumentation surprises (these guys are clever musicians and not hacks), seamless vocals. Pick it up, or just pick up a few tunes like this title track (not my favorite but certainly worth a listen). Listening will give you something to do while you're deciding what to do next.
Fork in the Road
If it's taking you a really long time to decide, try this incredible final track, a killer jam in the time honored Newgrass tradition:
If you still can't figure out where to go next, how about Nashville October 5-6-7 for IBMA's World of Bluegrass FanFest? Catch the lineup here. More to come on that real soon.