Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Power Outage

Yesterday evening, a wrathful gale beat a path through Knoxville, tearing up ancient and enormous trees in old neighborhoods like mine. I am always at odds with myself when it comes to these things. Storms gives me pause for my family's safety and the inconvenience of replacing things like windows and shingles, but the near-unbridled power of all that wind and water, heralded by the tympanic cannon-blasts of thunder, always thrills my spirit. It is difficult to stem the desire to go and stand in the writhing tempest (foolish as that may be).

The storm had blown through quickly, dissembling to reveal the golden shimmer of evening sunlight glimmering off the last remnants of rain and cloud. Steam rose from the street for hours afterward. People wandered through the neighborhood, curiously assessing the damage. I walked through the lampless dark after nightfall, exhaling gratefully at the conspicuous number of near-misses - weighty turrets of oak falling across power lines, streets, mailboxes, but only a few houses. It could have been much worse.

Beneath the star-drawn sky, unhindered by the nervous hum of electric light, people had lit candles and lanterns. Houses on the wet night-blue street had no faceless flicker of TV casting the pallid light of a satellite trance from every window. Incandescent glows could be seen in bedrooms, living rooms, and on porches. Neighbors sat together in their driveways or walked about, checking on each other. Certainly we are all guilty of a degree of voyeurism, but there was also a peace. Like waking from a muddled dream and seeing the tangible world before you, people had little entertainment save the company of each other.

As I posted previously, I spent the next to the last week of Lent chasing the dream of shared music and stories through the Midwest with a visionary cadre of musicians. Bill Wolf, Taylor Brown, Emilee Cook, Terry and Helene Mahnken, Carl Smith, Chris Dorsten, and I blew through three states and five stops, enjoying the company of some wonderful people. The last two dates were in Knoxville, with the tour finishing at St. John's Cathedral downtown. Greg Adkins, who played along for the last two shows - not to mention on the record - and who is one of the most passionate artist advocates I know (being a gifted songster himself), put together a quick video from setup and soundcheck. Enjoy. Oh, and Jill Andrews sings. Like I said, Enjoy.


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