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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

There is No Such Thing as Small Change

This is the painting that sits on the wall of my home.
It ALWAYS makes me smile when I see it hanging there.

It can be found immediately as you enter the house through the front door. April found this when she worked at Kohl's. It is a painting by artist, Rodney White and I apologize if posting this is somehow damaging to his sales or reputation. We plan on buying your "Trust that the wind knows where it is going." print soon, if that helps.

We bought this because the phrase means a lot to us. After the events that brought us to Vegas; how we dealt with the storm, how we adapted and turned an otherwise impossible situation into the best thing in our lives - this little phrase coupled with the pleasant image and artwork means something important to us.

As I write this, one day after the conclusion of what is arguably most significant bit of history in my lifetime, the message is that much more poignant. The election of Barack Obama is truly important. It is an amazing achievement regardless of race or political affiliation. Even though I was stuck having to watch sporadically and read captions form his historic speech (stuck working) the event brought a tear to my eyes and a swelling of pride and patriotism long missing from my consciousness.

Not only was I proud to be an American, I was proud to be a long-time, born-and-bred son of Illinois. I'd not missed being in or near Chicago once since moving here (Until seeing Grant Park last night). While I'm no fan of Ronald Reagan, I recognize his importance in the history of our nation and when I think that Lincoln, Reagan, and now Obama all came from my home state I cannot help but be proud and further understand why the Midwest is the home to the real AMERICA.

Looking at the scene in Chicago last night I was struck by how much the crowd looked like AMERICA in comparison to the crowd seen at the McCain rally. Yesterday, AMERICA was truly well represented and made proud.

Today, on my way to work, one song went through my head repeatedly. While I cannot say if it is even an "appropriate" song for the day, it was there nonetheless and it strengthened my feelings of hope & pride. Once at work, quite coincidentally, the song actually played over the speakers of Houdini's. A co-worker brought in his iPod, plugged it in, and the song happened to be on his playlist. This song always brings a tear to my eyes as well as makes me happy to hear it and sing it aloud, regardless of where I am and whom may be listening.

The song I am talking about is the classic Bob Marley track, "Redemption Song". This may be my favorite of Marley's tunes. It is truly beautiful and meaningful on levels most artists never achieve. I know I will never be able to strike such a magnificent chord, musically, artistically, or figuratively in my life. It is that perfect.

Whether or not it is the right song for the moment, it is the song that echoed in my brain and throughout the walls at my work place today. I felt the same pride, thought about the painting on my wall, and recalled the historic moment I was fortunate enough to witness the night before.

My personal favorite versions of this song is not Bob Marley's original. You may disagree but I believe the ultimate recording of this was done by Johnny Cash, with Joe Strummer singing alongside the Man in Black. Recorded for the storied American Recordings produced by Rick Rubin
, this is without a doubt, the most heartfelt and beautiful interpretations of this song I have ever heard. I encourage you to buy the "Unearthed" box set or download the mp3 from your favorite merchant. For now I hope you will take a listen to the song for free (player is at the top-right of the page I linked) and think of the sentiment found in the Rodney White painting.

Truly, there is no such thing as small change.


Blogger Michael Manning said...

Rick Rubin does some fine work, Andy. And I am glad you are in Vegas. be sure to tell Angie at Hooter's Casino & Hotel that I said Hello! Think she'll remember my early 2007 visit? ...Nah:D)

7:10 AM

Blogger Bud said...

Yeah I agree, that is the first time I've felt proud to be an American since around the early sixties.

8:50 AM

Blogger Joe Schulenberg said...

Hey Andy,

Happy to hear things took a turn for the better. Just for your information, Chicago is still a little pissed off that you left us. But as you can see, Mr. Obama has made us feel better. This morning I was thinking about that line in the Blues Brothers, no particular connection to you at the time, "don't come back... until you've redeemed YOURSELVES!" Yeah, Redemption's a big deal.

Best to you,


11:49 AM


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