Preparing for the Feast of St. James

Saturday is the Feast of St. James and it has been on my mind. A friend spoke about Camino de Santiago recently, and I’ve started reading about the pilgrimage. As the feast day approaches, I’ve been reading up more about St. James. The symbol for St. James is the scallop, which has always been one of my favorite foods. In France scallops are served as Coquilles St. Jacques, the cockles (or scallops) of St. Jacques (or St. James).

I was brought up a Congregationalist and was confirmed at around age 12 in the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, MA. In my high school years, I started exploring other churches and spent a bit of time with Baptists and Episcopalians. One of my high school yearbook quotes was James 1:5. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

In college I was received in the Episcopal Church at St. James Episcopal Church in Wooster, OH. In college, one of my favorite professors, told a story of when he had led a group of students on the Camino de Santiago years before. It is a story that I’ve often told.

So now, I am setting out on my own metaphorical Camino de Santiago. I’m still not exactly sure what it means or where it will lead me. In many ways we are all on our own Caminos, and with that, I’m now signing messages,

Buen Camino, a common greeting on the Camino de Santiago.

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Random Stuff

It’s been a long day and this evening, my server chose to act up, just as I was mentioning my blog in a Facebook group. Now, it is later than I hoped as I finally sit down to write.

All of my recent blog posts seem like they are flowing into one another. The heat, a road trip, to Falcon Ridge. My random wanderings and what I’m reading. Yet nothing is coming together.

I’m tired and hopefully have more to write tomorrow.

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Road Trip

This morning, I woke up to a great idea for a long, complicated poem. I had a general idea, phrases I wanted to use, and an overall outline. A long day has passed, with usual tasks at work, followed by a community event in the evening. By the time I got home, the idea for the poem had evaporated. I wished I had written down some notes. Hopefully, the idea will return.

I spend a little time looking at the tabs that are open in my browser. Perhaps one of them will give a clue. Is it something about ‘Dabar Yawheh’? None of the other currently open tabs seem to provide a lead.

I get distracted looking at THE OBSESSIVELY DETAILED MAP OF AMERICAN LITERATURE'S MOST EPIC ROAD TRIPS. What was William Least Heat Moon’s path in Blue Highways? Which road trip books included Connecticut?

Then, the idea starts to come back. The Road Trip. Starting from #Rhizo15. Getting lost in books as a kid, in encyclopedias, in libraries, and finally, on the road. All of it as a metaphor for that great trip, from cradle to grave, along with whatever comes before or after. I think of the great epics. I think of travelogues. I think of the Camino de Santiago, the 88 temples of Shikoku. I think of my own journeys when I was younger, and virtually retracing some of Blue Highways. I think of Wim Wenders Road Trip Trilogy, and I think of wandering in the desert for forty years.

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Heat

It is still early in the morning,
but the air is think
with heat and humidity.

Beside the road
the chicory,
purple loosestrife
and Queen Anne’s Lace
stand motionless.

Even wild flowers
can’t provide inspiration
in this heat.

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#FRFF Preview, Part 2

Last week, I posted #FRFF Preview, Part 1, providing links and some initial reactions to various Emerging Artists that will be performing at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival this year. This week, I return with the second half.

Camela Widad (Mechanicsburg, PA)

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Camela is one of the performers I’m most excited about hearing at Falcon Ridge this year. I’ve referenced her song, “My Turn” in a previous blog post. Other songs that I really like by her include “Raging Water” and “Candle”. She sings powerful stories to help make this world a better place.

Dan Weber (Vancouver, WA)

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Facebook
Twitter

Dan is another perform I’m really looking forward to. His song, “Sarah Ann” was one of the first ones I listened to when I set up my Spotify playlist of Emerging Artists. I listened to the song at the dining room table with my wife and youngest daughter. They laughed at the line “Can’t you see that you’re too young for me” and missed much of the poignancy of the song.

Another song, in a similar spirit is “Goodbye to Dad”. Maybe it says something that three of the first songs I mention are about death.

Jay Hitt (Butler, PA)

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A song that includes a more complete view of life and death is “Love is…” I captures why Jay Hitt is another one of the performers I’m most excited to see this year at Falcon Ridge.

Neptune’s Car (Sutton, MA)

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Songs that I really like are ones that tell stories, and Neptune’s Car has some great songs like this. At the top of the list, for me, is “The 43 (U.S.S. Tappahannock). A couple other songs that I’ve enjoyed of theirs include “One More Glass of Wine” and “Drinking to Distraction”.

Mare Wakefield & Nomad (Nashville, TN)

Webpage

I’ve been listing to Mare’s album “Poet On The Moon”. It is a great title and some of her songs really caught my attention, particularly, Clementine and Rattlesnake. I also like the song she shared on Facebook “Take Down Your Flag”.

Liz and the Family Tree (New York, NY)

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Facebook

It took me a while to find that Liz and the Family Tree is Liz Queler, Seth Farber and Joey Farber. I’ve listened a little bit to “The Edna Project” and haven’t yet found a favorite.

Gina Forsyth (New Orleans, LA),

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Twitter

Gina’s songs that I like best are the ones that she plays fiddle on. In particular, “Sparrow” and “11 Days” often shows up in the Spotify shuffle of songs and they always catch my attention.

Bernice Lewis (Williamstown, MA)

Webpage

I grew up in Williamstown, so Bernice jumped out at me. Probably the song that most catches my attention of hers is “Checks and Love Letters”.

Matt Harlan (Houston, TX)

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Twitter

“Old Spanish Moss” is the song that has jumped out to me most.

I’ve been listening to the remaining performers, a little bit while writing this post, and at other times shuffling through my Spotify playlist. I haven’t, yet, found songs to highlight for each of them, so I’ll just list their webpages, and where they have them, Facebook or Twitter pages. Perhaps, if I get more time, I’ll add some updates later on.

Teresa Storch (Longmont, CO)

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Katrin (Brookline, MA)

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Twitter

Mason Porter (Honey Brook, PA)

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Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers (Fayetteville, NY)

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Skout (New York, NY)

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Jessy Tomsko (Astoria, NY)

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Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes (Jersey City, NJ)

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