Constance…I am going to beg you. For real.
I am on my knees right now…literally I have the laptop on the floor in front of me so I can kneel as I type:
Would you please, for real, click on this play button and listen to Archie Fisher sing his song “River Like You”?
I think he is the greatest living folk singer. Period.
Oh no…not the purest voice, not the most fantastical poetic lyrics (Van Morrison has that corner well occupied lol), not the greatest guitar playing. No…it is nothing like that with Archie Fisher. It’s deeper, ineffable…let me tell you a story…
A few years back, I was working on the Pacific Coast in a very historic town, and I saw a poster appear in the window of a small record shop there which probably sold more “medicinal herb” than it did records! But the poster…it advertised that a man named Archie Fisher was going to come and play a concert and tickets were like $12…well I was mildly interested, as I was separated during the week from my darling and the kids, so I was always searching for something to fill the void in my life left by their absence in body.
I read the poster bemusedly, and then ran across this quote: “Archie Fisher is the greatest folk singer of our time. If I heard he was playing any venue anywhere within 500 miles of me, I would go hear him and figure the rest out later.” Now Constance…I am somewhat of a folk music aficionado, and I love this form of music far more than any other, finding it deeper and more connected to our humanity than any other music (which, by the way, has its own excellencies and sublimity)…and having cut my teeth on the more esoteric ravings of Van Morrison and from there quickly diving in to Celtic Folk music and the seedbed from which Van sprang, well let’s just say that 1500 or so recordings later, I am very familiar with folk music…and yet somehow this Archie Fisher had escaped my notice!! Grrr…the nerve of him! lol
Anyway, I was skeptical but as I had nothing else to do, I bought a ticket, showed up, only to see a man who looked exactly like he does in this video…in fact, he was wearing the exact same shirt, for real! He sat down in a chair, and tuned his guitar (not very well, actually)…and when it was “close enough”, he took off picking it and on its surface, it sounded like a million other songs…but something was different…
Only God knows what, and why…but I began to weep, literally, within about 5 seconds of his beginning, and he rendered magic there before me as he sang “Borderlands”.
I bawled thru the entire first set, barely recovered at intermission, and then cried even harder during the last set, having to excuse myself a couple of times to go outside where I could sob audibly. Constance, I thought I was going to die. It was so beautiful that it killed me somehow, while simultaneously resurrecting me only to slay me again. I wanted to die on the spot so the moment would never be diminished by the passage of time…I wanted to live forever so I could laud and pay tribute to this lightening rod of meaning and wonder released thru melody and music.
The song that I am posting here is the one that broke me open once and for all…it describes for me my darling, who she is to me…
…but lately, it also is so apropos in describing the one known as ddh. In ddh’s realm, this is descriptive of my gratefulness and wonder and joy at having a friend…like one closer than a relative! One who shares my joys and sorrows, and I share alike those same things…
I post this in honor of my baby of course…but the fresh application, and the one for which I bring it to Grace Notes and to you, is in honor of the ddh…and on that day at 643 I will be hearing this song in my heart and sitting in wonder at a river there, and always different and always there and always different.
Happy Birthday, and wow did They ever outdo Themselves when They thought of you.
As far as that quote, on the poster? About Archie Fisher? Well, now I sniff in disdain, and raise my chin and ask archly
…how is it that we even stand apart then to observe this?
“When we try to pick out
anything by itself
we find that it is bound fast
by a thousand invisible cords
that cannot be broken,
to everything in the universe.”
It isn’t that this is not true…it is that in the middle of this truth, we at times find ourselves utterly isolated and alone, even while connected.
Why is that?