Thursday, December 27, 2012

You're Not A Good Shot, But I'm Worse

I was watching some videos of a favorite singer songwriter of mine. His name is Josh Ritter, who I'm sure many of you are familiar with. One of my favorite albums of his is The Animal Years, and the song, Good Man, is a gem. That video above this paragraph is the studio version of that song. It's wonderful.

The video below this paragraph is the same song, but it's a live recording. There's no band, no recording studio, and it was filmed with a cheap camera. It's just Josh and his black Gibson, and the performance isn't even complete. It's interrupted with a conversation, lyrics are misplaced, words and sounds muffled by less-than perfect equipment. It's also wonderful.

I don't think anyone who reads this blog would be surprised to hear I like the second version much, much more. I love it. I love seeing his smile, hearing the honest laughter, the mistakes and the quirky questions about how to pronounce a volcano's name. It's not a professional presentation, and folks with an more discerning audio-palate might find it humorous and genuine, but not as good as the studio version. They are right. It's not as good, but that doesn't mean it isn't better.

Some folks take great pride in having an order to things. They thrive on organization, presentation, and appearance. They keep things nice, take care of their possessions, and take pride in what they have earned in this world. They get great satisfaction from peer approval, family approval, and equate this approval to their own level of happiness. There is nothing wrong with this, at all. It's a system that works. It creates peace and law, faithfulness and pride.

And then there are folks who don't share that desire for order, presentation, and appearance. They get little satisfaction from peer approval, family approval, and can not equate it to happiness. They are driven by other ghosts, and hungry for other means of sustenance. There is nothing wrong with this, at all. It's a system that works. It creates art and impulse, temptation and passion.

I have found that the more time I spend living this life, the less patience I have for studio versions. I appreciate their attention to detail, their polish, but I find the order inorganic. A contrivance I can't abide.

I once knew a guy who wouldn't let my dog into his car, because the car was new. That's fine. It's his car. But it was a red flag that he wasn't one of my tribe, and I always acted differently around him. Again, I can't stress enough that there is nothing wrong with keeping a car nice. But that way of living seems less rewarding to me so I do not live it. I love my messy, dented, truck and I'll never care more about a machine than something with a blood stream, not put its presentation needs above things with a pulse. And, honestly, I don't feel as comfortable around folks who "like things nice". Not because of any fault of their own, because I really do think there's validity and goodness to that kind of order in the world. But I will never achieve it past a tidy house and clean sheets, and have no desire to do so. Perfection makes me itchy.

I guess my point is this. There are a lot of versions of songs, and a lot of versions of people. We all find our own way to make sense of the world, and as long as you can love your own version without disdain for the others - you're on the road to making some beautiful music. We don't have to like each other's style, but harmony needs melody. Always.

If you don't care much for music at all, you're beyond my meager help. That's okay too. I am incredibly overrated. But I am happy. And that's something.

You're not a good shot, but I'm worse
And there's so much where we aint been yet
So swing up on this little horse
The only thing we'll hit is sunset

19 Comments:

Blogger Frenchie said...

Jenna, I so get what you are saying here. I am a high performance driving instructor, driving expensive sports cars all around tracks in North America. Although I truly appreciate a good machine, it is just metal and rubber, only that. My border collie has the back seat in my car, and my friends' dogs are always welcome to my place, even though they cringe at my white couches (slipcovers are washable!) it is people and pets first, always.

December 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Frenchie said...

Jenna, I so get what you are saying here. I am a high performance driving instructor, driving expensive sports cars all around tracks in North America. Although I truly appreciate a good machine, it is just metal and rubber, only that. My border collie has the back seat in my car, and my friends' dogs are always welcome to my place, even though they cringe at my white couches (slipcovers are washable!) it is people and pets first, always.

December 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger kathie said...

Life should be comfortable!!!

December 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

For years I have said when I am on my death bed, I won't be crying that I should have spent less time with my kids and spent more time cleaning. My house is clean enough, but by no means perfect. But my kids are great people and for me, that's what counts. Life is short, enjoy it. And there is no such thing as perfection. Some of the most tidy people I know have some of the dirtiest secrets! It a facade.

December 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Casie Duberstein said...

Perfection may make you itchy, but disorder, clutter and messes make me twitchy. To each his own!

December 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Yes!!! As always, well said!

December 27, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

Oh good, I thought I was just lazy. Id much rather read a book or play with the cats or work on a quilt than vacume and dust. so I dont. But I live alone so dont have to please anyone else but myself. The older I get the more I realize how much I was brainwashed into having the "right " stuff and the nice home and all in all that doenst matter much. Id rather have a few more pets than nice furniture. Great vid, super cute guy, too bad hes married, so hard to find a good free one! Love his grin! Thanks Jenna

December 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Eileen Hileman said...

If my dog(s) couldn't ride in it - neither would I. While I enjoy some domestic tasks (its a time I use to meditate) - I think you have to put value on the living over objects like sparkly floors or uncluttered cabinets - not in existance at my house. I'd rather have dirty floors and enjoy life. I've always found animals (especially dogs and horses) to be excellent judges of human character. If my animals don't like the human - I probably won't either. I know Jenna in the past you've blogged that you worry about what people are going to think about your farm. I think the reality is that people who arrive at a farm with predetermined expectations probably have no business being on a farm. I loved growing up on our farm - the paint was peeling on the house, the screen door sagged, there was no yard - just pasture and in spring mud season we had to park the cars near the highway because there was no way they could negotiate the 2 mile from from hwy to house. It was messy and cluttered and it was and still is my best view of heaven.

December 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

Thank you for sharing your outlook! I firmly believe that if it's good enough for me, it's enough - be damned what others think! My home (and vehicle) will always have pet hair and dust bunnies and chicken feathers...and if I'm okay with that, then so be it! Those who have an issue with it need not visit. :-)

December 27, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

That's exactly why I feel so at home in your house and at your farm. I'm the sort of person who starts doing dishes by walking around the house looking for the glasses, mugs, and dishes that wandered off. I keep it reined in (to some degree) so my wife doesn't kick me out, though. :) Here's to life!

December 27, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Melina said...

Your place is so comfortable. Your life is authentic and it comes through at Cold Antler. It's a refreshing place to visit.

December 27, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Susan Conway said...

You're not fully dressed until you have some dog hair on. All of my dogs thus accompany me to work.

December 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger shepherdkelly said...

well said! I am one of these non-approval people as well. I think it confuses other people in my life, but I just am not a detail person. There are so many other things to do besides spend every minute of my time cleaning or working on my appearance. I don't care if I fit in. I'm that one that is living it.

December 27, 2012 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger shepherdkelly said...

well said! I am one of these non-approval people as well. I think it confuses other people in my life, but I just am not a detail person. There are so many other things to do besides spend every minute of my time cleaning or working on my appearance. I don't care if I fit in. I'm that one that is living it.

December 27, 2012 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Thanks Jenna! I hadn't seen that version of that song, it's one of my favs as well by Josh...sigh...Josh. I just love his voice! And I agree, I've got some wood chips and chaf in my auto, too. Chickens make for some fun company and a little mud on my boots never hurt anyone (though I disdain when my kids track that mud through my house!) Happy New Year to you and all the gang at CAF! ~Vonnie

December 27, 2012 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Gramma Phyl said...

Jenna, I wish I could find the trivet that my Mom had at one time. It hung on our front door and expresses your attitude perfectly. "Welcome. My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy." I think that says it all.

December 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Thanks for the intro to Josh Ritter. I'll be checking into his music for sure. Re: the perfect house, I used to work with a lady who admitted she went home every night and straightened the fringe on her carpets. I can't imagine wasting precious life energy on something so inconsequential. Give me dog hair, mud and chick feathers any day.

December 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Yes, we each have the freedom to march to our own drummer. That said...there are exceptions. Parents endangering children, mental illness that are untreated, etc.

December 29, 2012 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Is it either/or? Either tidy or artistic? Not both/and?

December 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM  

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