Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Front Porch

Ghandi said  
"Where there is love, there is life." 

Love is a wonderful, amazing, powerful, and addictive need. It's the nuclear fuel that powers us when we have it ... and the crippling blow that stops us cold when taken away. Love is our most powerful joy hanging by a fine thread connected to our greatest pain.

Once upon a time, America loved itself. It loved what it was, what it was going to be. We look at ourselves now and realize we are a pale shadow of the moral greatness we once held ourselves up to be. And isn't that the journey of every people and civilization throughout history? We begin with tremendous promise and fiery passion, then relax and settle into the reflection of our illusions only to quickly lose the heart and spirit of what we are supposed to be.

I look at our hometowns, our communities and the world and wonder, "What is so different today that has changed from a few decades ago, when we were riding high on the belief of everything we thought we could be?"

It occurred to me that, among other things, we have lost our sense of home. Our sense of belonging. Our sense of community. We are the most transient and unstable generation in America's history. We work in cubicles, make two dimensional friends online, limit our communication with each other to 140 character tweets, and live in apartments and neighborhoods without ever meeting or caring to know our neighbors.

We lost our sense of "front porches."

Heck, they don't even make them on a new home anymore. They were abandoned with the advent of air conditioning and television. Once the center stage of a family's community spirit and joy, the front porch was where neighbors gathered for music and fellowship, coffee in the morning, ice tea in the afternoon, and watching the moon settle over the trees in autumn. It's where a young man would court the girl of his dreams on a porch swing while her family stood vigil inside the home.

To me, the Front Porch has three meanings: the literal, actual front porch on a home. The emotional front porch of finding the love of your life and having her near. And the global, universal front porch between nations. Those three viewpoints are bound up in the title song of my new CD.

The songs of the "Front Porch" album are mostly about family, love and the powerful key that makes it work: forgiveness. The entire album is a look at the emotional front porch we all desperately search for. The release will give me a chance to sing, explore and discuss some matters that I find personally enriching and important, and I look forward to this in the weeks and months to come.

Ghandi said "Where there is love, there is life."
I used to believe that, but not anymore.

I have learned in time that so many function everyday battered by rejection, they exist without love as they search for emotional paradise. As a matter of fact, most of us live within the prison of extreme disappointment and heartbreak. And it's a double edged sword. Usually the one growing up without love is the first to withdraw love from those closest to them ... leaving them, in the end, as alone as the one they rejected.

The road to paradise is fraught with pot holes and barriers. Forgiveness is the bridge that carries us over every obstacle. Forgiveness is the fuel that powers love forever. It is the glue and binding that holds our inner front porch together. Without forgiveness, love is weak and fragile, it crumbles and withers from the slightest heat.

Ghandi should have said,  
"Where there is forgiveness ... love will last forever."

That is the only possible road map to the lovely, poetic, calm, and peaceful paradise that I want ... the inner front porch that we all ache for deeply, whether we acknowledge it or not.

(you can hear the song by clicking the play button)