Thursday, September 18, 2003

It’s a lot harder learning to trust God than I would have imagined. It would seem like a “no-brainer”. All Powerful – Creator of the Universe – All Knowing – All Caring – etc. If you can’t trust God...

Trouble is; awe is easier than trust. I stand amazed at who He is but still find myself unable to close my eyes and fall backwards into His arms. See I’m not yet convinced He will catch me. I know He can – that He is able. I’m just not sure He will. It’s not that He hasn’t caught me before. Fact is He has done it over and over again. It’s just that most of the time it is because I tripped and fell or was knocked down by some event or circumstance. He always catches me when I fall unexpectedly – but that doesn’t require trust. Where I am having trouble is when I am standing on the edge of the cliff with an enemy coming fast behind me or when I find myself gripping a rope woven from my own ability in order to save myself. In those moments when I should just let go and trust that He will catch me I tend to freeze – to trust in the pain or the despair that I know rather than risk the unknown of the abyss.

Trust requires risk. It always does. Trust demands that I give up any ability to KNOW and instead embrace the journey of the unknown.

Christ rarely tells us where we are going. He simply calls to us; “Follow Me”. If I knew the way I am certain I’d run ahead – I am impatient like that. I’m a little like Abraham who never thought to “help God” until God told Abraham what He intended to do. I think that’s why most of the “God Stuff” in our lives comes out of nowhere- when we aren’t even looking for Him. It keeps us out of the way.

But something in my heart needs to trust Him. Why else would I fight so hard to get the faintest glimpse or the smallest touch? I need to know He is there. That He has not left me. I am trying to learn to trust Him but most days…

Hope is the best I can do.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Here's another great Cash story told by former son-in-law Rodney Crowell on the event of Johnny's 70th birthday:

When Rosanne and I first started living together we got an invitation to Jamaica where John has a house. So we flew from Los Angeles to Jamaica. I had a few drinks on the plane to screw up my courage because I was nervous since Rosanne and I decided we were going to sleep together in his house. We got there late in the day, and having shored up my bravado, I figured I better case out my territory from the start and told him our intentions to stay together. He just looked at me, fixed me with a stare and said, "Son, I don't know you well enough to miss you if you were gone." It just sobered me right up. And I thought, "What kind of arrogant fool am I," and decided to file that line away and use it one day. Cut right down, I asked " Where are you going to have me stay?"

Rodney Crowell

Friday, September 12, 2003

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison was the first "country" record I ever listened to from beginning to end. My uncle, Arlon Earle, owned it and we were visiting him in Jacksonville, Texas. I first heard Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, and Ray Price in that house — "hillbilly records" he called them, so I called them that, too. As I got older and discovered the Beatles and the Stones and Bob Dylan, only Johnny Cash survived the shift in my musical tastes. Cash was different. He was a BADASS. He wore a lot of black and he sang about murder and dope and adultery and ghosts. He had genuine attitude. His music, more than anyone else's, was simultaneously COUNTRY and ROCK.

In 1968 John had his own television show and I NEVER, EVER missed it. I saw Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt and in his first network appearance, Bob Dylan. All during the most formative period in my musical life. Nothing else would influence as much as that hour a week until I met Townes Van Zandt in 1972.

I finally met John in 1987 at a photo session for a newspaper article publicizing a benefit we shared the bill on. Present were John, myself, Waylon Jennings and Mark Germino. It was John who noticed that everyone in the picture was wearing black except him.

In 1991 I dropped off the edge of the earth, resurfacing in '95 by way of the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center. Later that year Ry Cooder asked me to play electric guitar on John's contribution of the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. (I got to "be" Luther Perkins. How cool is that?) I hadn't seen John since I went away and when I walked into the green room at 16th Avenue Sound, he was standing over the pool table with his hand in an old fashioned picnic basket. He looked up when I entered the room and said "Steve, would you like a piece of tenderloin on a biscuit that June made this mornin'?" I allowed how I would and he said "I knew that you would." Then we went in and made a record — as if nothing bad had ever happened to either one of us.

— Steve Earle, Troy, NY, June 1999

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

As some of you are probably aware, The Captain has been in the process of "Going Down With the Ship" in relation to his occupation. It looks like the ship will touch bottom in another 3 or 4 weeks. Time to tune up the resume' and find a new command. The Captain plans to use the following phrase in all interviews:

"Permission to Come Aboard?"

Let's all pray that Cap'n Flippy will not have to shear his pirate locks or remove the gold pirate hoop from his ear. It is feared that these are the source of all his powers and without them...The good Captain would cease to be.