There is a place between a man’s lips and his heart that bellows without any bitter interference. As a young boy on Sunday mornings in Pine Top, Kentucky at the Omaha Bible Church, I first experienced the sweet mountain bellow from the ladies that would sing solo hymns without any accompanying instruments or electrical amplification. The best part of going to church to me has always been the music. I can’t help but wonder if any ladies of the mountain imprinted that sweet bellow on a young Tyler in some southeastern Kentucky church because he sure bellows from that sweet spot that only pain can orchestrate.
I can’t tell if Tyler is from Paintsville or Louisa. Kentucky. He sings about Hindman and Virgie which is a half days walk from where most my family line runs hot. So maybe I’m naturally partial to this artist. Maybe it has to do with Sturgill Simpson co producing Tyler’s soon to be released “Purgatory” album. Maybe it has to do with his lyrics bringing home the stories of life that know my own breath so well. Maybe it has to do with a little heathen having sat in a church pew in Pine Top, Kentucky so many years ago. I’m partial to Tyler Childers music and I can’t see no good reason not to be.
“The preacher raised a finger. He plunged it into the Bible, his eyes roving the benches. When the text was spread before him on the printed page he looked to see what the Lord had chosen. He began to read. I knew then where his mouth was in the beard growth.
“‘The sea saw it and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. Tremble, thou earth…’ ”
He snapped the book to. He leaned over the pulpit.
“I was borned in a ridge-pocket,” he said. “I never seed the sun-ball withouten heisting my chin. My eyes were sot upon the hills from the beginning. Till I come on the Word in this good Book, I used to think a mountain was the standingest object in the sight o’ God. Hit says here they go skipping and hopping like sheep, a-rising and a-falling. These hills are jist dirt waves, washing through eternity. My brethren, they hain’t a valley so low but what hit’ll rise agin. They hain’t a hill standing so proud but hit’ll sink to the low ground o’sorrow. Oh, my children, where are we going on this mighty river of earth, a-borning, begetting, and a-dying – the living and the dead riding the waters? Where air it sweeping us?”- James Still (excerpt from River of Earth)
I had just finished a twelve-hour shift in the factory. Taking a seat in my car and letting the car warm up, I take a look at my phone and see a friend request on Facebook. I don’t get that many requests. I might get one a month, and usually, it is from folks I don’t know that have male accounts, under a female name with a profile picture where their boobs take up a third of the photo. Today that wasn’t the case. One of my favorite Country artists had sent me a friend request. She sure made my ego smile and made my drive home a lot lighter than usual. For the record, I accepted her request….:)
Brandy is a top shelf lyricist. I don’t have to google this to know this. It is easy known by her work or play. She touches a reality that resides on the darker sides. The sides that maybe some of us don’t want people to generally know about us. How mundane our lives can get with the daily rituals of habit and what we do to escape the mundane of living to a plan. I love her for it.
I’m not short of words as I’m on time for I have another shift at the factory waiting for me. Do stay well.
“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being. If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?” – Alan Watts
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?