Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Handmade

The words of the song "Handmade" by Jimmy Rankin say, "Everywhere I go everything's plastic." I understand these words. It is all too easy to find pretense and masque all around us. Authenticity is something for which we long. We long for it in the music industry, in business, in spirituality, and in our relationships with our neighbours. We long for authenticity in our families, in our marital relationships, and in our friendships. We long for authenticity in every aspect of life.

When my wife and I travelled on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia we saw a level of authenticity in music that is rare to find. Many cafes, pubs, and restaurants had live music. Often it was one person on fiddle and one person on a piano. The two would play music they loved and occasionally sing. Much ad lib, improvisation, and experimentation would occur. One got the impression that you were looking over the shoulders of a couple of friends who had just sat down around the family piano. Other times it might be one or two people with a guitar and other instruments and perhaps a bit of step dancing or highland dancing thrown in. The contrast to highly produced radio music coming out of Toronto and Los Angeles was stark. This East Coast music felt very authentic.

Music is simply one example of an area in which we desire to see a greater degree of authenticity. Most of us would be happy to see a much greater degree of genuineness in all aspects of life. Where does such authenticity start? Of course, it starts with me. If I desire for others to be genuine with me I must necessarily be genuine with them. Perhaps that also means that I must become more comfortable with the person I am. Can I even take off the masque and look in my own mirror? If I want the world to give me something real - something handmade - something I can taste - it must start with introspection and analysis of myself. Only when I understand who I am will I be able to reveal that to others around me. Only then will I encourage this in others.

Enjoy these great lyrics by a great singer songwriter. You can listen to the song here.

Handmade (Lyrics and music by Jimmy Rankin and Tim Thorney)

Everywhere I go everything's plastic
Everywhere I turn it's all the same
I'm makin' my way through the smoke and the ashes
It's out of the fire and into the flame

Give me something that is real
Give me something I can taste
Show me someone who can feel
I'm sick and tired of this place
But everybody must get paid
Give me something handmade
Handmade

Have we lost our style in the face of fashion?
Have we lost the need and the will to care?
Something's gone nobody's asking
Seems the more I look it's nowhere

Give me something that is real
Give me something I can taste
Show me someone who can feel
I'm sick and tired of this place
But everybody must get paid
Give me something handmade
Handmade

These are the days of concrete and steel
This is the circus with the dancing clown
Hear the thundering roar roll over the border
These are the days when it all comes down

Give me something that is real
Give me something I can taste
Show me someone who can feel
I'm sick and tired of this place
But everybody must get paid
Give me something handmade
Handmade
Give me something handmade
Handmade

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