Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

So, tomorrow marks the coming of another Thanksgiving holiday here in America. And, while I find it perhaps a bit disingenuous and silly to set aside just one single day for the purposes of giving thanks - (as a part of every day should probably be reserved for thanksgiving if one is thinking rightly) - I'm sill thankful for Thanksgiving.

And, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, "We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts." I couldn't agree more, and so I've dedicated some time today to give thanks for a few of the "little" things that come to mind as I reflect on the past month of touring (more blogs to come about all of that).
I'm thankful for a great band that is constantly pushing me to become a better musician in my own right and for the honor of being able to contribute to music I actually love and am excited to share with the world.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to get to play for several different artists, all of whom I respect greatly and feel blessed to have been invited to be a part of their careers.

I'm thankful for getting to finally realize the dream of playing drums on a major label record release.

I'm thankful for a tour crew that made life easy for a month - routinely hitting my head on the tour bus notwithstanding. (That was my fault, not theirs.)

Hard not to be thankful for this life.

I'm thankful for great fan support from any number of distant countries. What an incredible thing it is to travel abroad and encounter people who speak different languages & live in different cultures and yet celebrate our music with us & pay real money to watch us perform it.

I'm thankful for the fans who keep coming back and those who have made the effort to get to know us as individuals. It's amazing to recognize faces & names from the stage, to talk to people as people & not be held up on some ridiculous and unwarranted pedestal, and to feel like I might be having a positive effect on people's lives beyond what they hear on their iPod. You all know who you are - so, thank you for the memories. Nobody could put a price on them.

I'm thankful for the rediscovery of truly beautiful & timeless music. Not to put too fine a point on it, I fell deeper in love with JS Bach on this tour. As none other than Ludwig van Beethoven declared him to be "The immortal god of harmony," I thought to myself that his music probably merited a closer listen. I was in the least bit disappointed. There certainly is a reason why his music has endured for almost 300 years.

I'm thankful for Instagram and Snapseed and the ability to at least sort-of share the beauty I see in the world with other people. We're surrounded with too many fascinating things to be bored, folks.

I'm thankful rock 'n' roll is still alive. The shrinking Top 40 radio markets and domination of Clear Channel has led to the widely-held belief that rock has died off and drifted into irrelevance. Delving into records by bands like Biffy Clyro, Needtobreathe, and Jimmy Eat World helped to convince me otherwise. The rawk is still out there. You just have to know where to look.

Lastly, (at least for now), I'm thankful for an amazing home to come home to when the entire adventure is over. The wife & I spent too much of 2013 selling our old place and getting into a new house. But, man, was it worth it coming back.

There is nothing quite like the sweet dilemma of wanting to get out on the road, loving it once you're there, and then wanting to be home and loving it once you're back. My wife and my dog make my life much more colorful, enjoyable, sweet, and comfortable than I have any logical right to expect. My friends, as well, who care about me regardless of whether or not I play drums in a cool rock band, augment the already-inexhaustible supply of love & brotherhood I subsist on when I'm home.

So, my conclusion, as I hope is obvious, is that my cup overfloweth. A lot. I have more to give thanks for this year than I could ever hope to capture in a blog, a single prayer, or perhaps an entire life.

Don't let this weekend pass you by without taking stock of all that you have to be thankful for. But, don't feel like you have to relegate giving thanks to just one day, either. Make it routine and something tells me you won't be sorry.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (Even all of you who don't technically celebrate it. Just pretend to on Thursday, ok? Grab a turkey sandwich on your lunch break or something!)

(Photo cred: Scott Murphy)

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